National Hockey League playoff action on Thursday evening and we will see a pair of teams from the Atlantic Division square off as the Boston Bruins tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. The Maple Leafs lead the series 2-1.
Bruins In A 2-1 Hole
The Boston Bruins had the 2nd most points in the Eastern Conference this year, while the Maple Leafs had really been struggling down the stretch of the regular season, but still, it is the Leafs that have a 2-1 lead in this series. Boston lost their home ice advantage in this series in game one and they failed to grab it back in game three as they fell to the Leafs by a score of 3-2. The Boston offense had averaged 4.30 gpg in their final 10 games of the regular season, but they have been able to muster just seven goals in the first three games of this series. Boston needs to find its offense, especially when going up against a high-scoring team like the Leafs. Scoring in the game three loss was David Krejci, which was his 21st of the year and Charlie Coyle, which was his 14th.
Absorbing the loss in game three was Tuukka Rask, who allowed three goals on 34 shot attempts. Rask went 27-18 with a 2.48 GAA on the year overall, including 12-10 with a 2.65 GAA out on the road and 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA against the Maple Leafs. In his career, he has gone 17-9 with a 2.13 GAA against the Maple Leafs (Reg Sea) and 36-32 with a 2.25 GAA in the postseason. The Bruins have gone 20-22 on the road and they have averaged 2.83 gpg and have allowed 2.74 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Boston ranked 3rd in the league in power play conversions at 25.9% and 16th in penalty kill at 79.9%.
Leafs Look To Keep Home Ice Advantage
The Toronto Maple Leafs came into the postseason with very little momentum as they had lost 10 of their final 14 games during the regular season. Still, they were able to grab one of the games in Boston and they grabbed their first home game in this series to forge ahead of the Bruins 2-1 in the series. They will now look to keep their home ice advantage and grab a commanding 3-1 series lead. All teams have to be feeling some relief now that the Lightning are out and the Leafs are certainly one of those. Scoring in the game-three win was Trevor Moore, which was his 3rd of the year, Auston Matthews, which was his 38th of the year and Andreas Johnsson, which was his 21st of the year.
Grabbing the win was Frederik Andersen, who stopped 34 of the 36 shots that he faced. During the regular season, he went 36-23 with a 2.77 GAA, including 18-11 with a 2.81 GAA here at home and 1-1 with a 4.52 ERA against the Bruins. In his career, he has gone 24-17 with a 2.59 GAA in the postseason and 11-2 with a 2.42 GAA against the Bruins. The Maple Leafs have gone 24-18 here at home and they have averaged 3.55 gpg and have allowed 2.98 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Toronto ranked 8th in the league in power play conversions at 21.8% and 17th in penalty kill at 79.9%.
- 39-19 in their last 58 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 19-7 in their last 26 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150
- 1-6 in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog
- 1-6 in their last 7 vs. the Atlantic