Game 4 Preview: Three Keys To Victory For The Boston Bruins


May 6, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (36) battles Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic (17) for the puck during game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Boston defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In Game 4 of this best of seven series, the Boston Bruins will have a chance to take a commanding three to one lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On Monday night, the Bruins came into the Air Canada Centre and ruined what was supposed to be a party in Toronto. The first home playoff game in nine years for the Leafs was supposed to be full of jubilation and joy, but ended in sorrow and heartache for Leaf’s fans. Every time the crowd was getting loud, Boston made a big play to silence them. Boston went on to win the game 4-1 and gained home ice advantage back.

The keys to victory for Boston in Game 4 are:

1. Shoot the puck on net. Leaf’s goalie James Reimer has been shaky when it comes to handling pucks and has given up numerous rebounds all series. The Bruins are averaging just fewer than 40 shots this series and need to keep that number up. By putting shots on goal, there will be plenty of rebounds and second chance opportunities to score goals.
2. Get off to a good start, again. Just like in Game 3, the Maple Leaf’s fan base is going fill the Air Canada Centre and be loud and boisterous. They want that first home playoff win and they want in badly. Just like in Game 3, it is key for Boston to get the crowd out of the game early. Whether it is scoring a goal or two, finishing checks or limiting Toronto’s scoring opportunities, the first ten minutes of the game will be critical in calming the crowd and keeping them out of the game.
3. The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line needs to show up. Through the first three games of this series, they have accounted for 17 points (including eight in Game 3). The three have been up and down all season but when they all are on, Boston is hard to beat. When all three play their best, the rest of the team seems to elevate their game as well.

The Bruins have a huge opportunity in front of them on Wednesday night. With a win, they would go to back to Boston with a chance to close the series out in front of their home crowd. If they come out flat and play like they did in Game 2, they’ll go back to Boston with the series tied at two games apiece.