Why winning the second game in Toronto is more important than the first

While the Bruins would love to come home to Boston with a 3-1 series lead, if they lose game 3, winning game 4 instead would serve as a solid reprieve for them.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Going into Tuesday, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs opening round series is now tied at one game apiece following the Bruins' loss in Boston to the Maple Leafs on Monday following a third period goal from Auston Matthews.

Now going into two games on the road, many would think that both games are "must-win" scenarios. While it's true that it would be perfect in multiple ways for them to come home after winning both and have more momentum, if they are unable to pick up two wins, one is better than none.

Which game is more critical to win? In this reporter's opinion: the second one, aka game 4.

Why is game 4 more critical to win?

The reason that game 4 is more critical to win is because it gives Boston momentum heading back home, especially with the home ice advantage - at least for this series.

If the series is going to go seven games - as predicted by this reporter - it's better to win on the tail end of road games.

Now, granted Toronto has only led for less than ten minutes throughout the entire season series between the two teams, but playoff hockey is a completely different animal. To that end, most teams tend to just about throw out any notions they had about the team you saw in the regular season.

The big thing in the playoffs is momentum, and right now it is on the Maple Leafs side after taking game two. After a somewhat sub-par game from Linus Ullmark in net, it will be interesting to see what the Bruins do with their goaltending situation before game 4 where the momentum MUST be on their side before heading home.

Can Boston really afford to lose game 3 though?

The truth of the matter, in the playoffs, Boston can't afford to lose any games at all (especially after last year), but if you lose any game to Toronto in the playoffs it's better to be the first one north of the border.

The Bruins are the better team, there's no doubt about it - winning game one with just an assist coming from leading scorer David Pastrnak and two goals coming from Jake DeBrusk, the latter of whom really shined in game one.

If Boston can come within one goal of winning a game with Pastrnak scoring and withOUT DeBrusk scoring, imagine what they can do with both of them scoring in a game up in Toronto. Let the intrigue grow.

How can I watch the game?

The game will be on Wednesday, with puck drop at 7:00 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN and NESN.