This was without a doubt Matthews' best performance of the series, as he led the Leafs with five shots on goal, and Toronto will need him to lead the way if they have a chance at winning defeating the Bruins in the first round.
A bad penalty call cost the Bruins a goal in their Game 3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, and though they're pretty ticked off about it, they're not going to let those feelings linger into Game 4. He alone has nine points in Boston's two victories, while linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have contributed another 11 to give the trio 20 points in the series. "At the end of the day they are going to be our best line every night".
Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen allowed three goals on five shots before he was replaced in the first period by backup Curtis McElhinney (19 saves). Not so much here.
"When you're my age, social media doesn't even really affect your life".
The real back-breaker though came with five minutes left in the middle frame with the game tied at 2-all. Toronto's top line has been cold and shown no pushback, with Auston Matthews still searching for his first point.
Nash has been out since March 31 after being struck in the ear by a slap shot. He's the oldest player in Leafs' history ever to score in the postseason, and sits 17th on the NHL's all-time list in playoff goals. I think if it happened against us, I'd say the same thing. "That's the idea, we understand that. I don't know if it was a little bit of swelling causing the symptoms, but I think in this day in age - it's the National Hockey League protocol now to go through steps, [you have to] jump through a bunch of the loopholes before you get back".
The one bit of encouraging news for the Maple Leafs is they could look towards the series between the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets for inspiration. "I don't think you can guess and give someone a power play". He fed Patrick Marleau for his first of his two goals.
BC-HKN-Bruins-Maple Leafs, 1st Ld-Writethru, 894Matthews, Marleau lead Maple Leafs past Bruins 4-2 in Game 3AP Photo DPI537, DPI535, NSD112, DPI531, DPI530, DPI529, DPI526, DPI522, DPI523, DPI524, DPI521, NSD108, NSD110, NSD106, DPI519, DPI518Eds: Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 2. With the last change in his favor, Toronto coach Mike Babcock tried to keep the Auston Matthews line away from the Bergeron line, utilizing the Tomas Plekanec unit.
Nashville got on the board midway through the second after Colorado was whistled for two penalties on a play, giving the Predators a 5-on-3 advantage. Cue Leafs Twitter to be all-in on Matthews again until Game 4. "If we can come out here and put forth a good effort and play the way we're capable of, you've got to start on somewhere". You'd like to have more obviously. "We've got to find ways to create a little more".
SPECIAL TEAMS - Toronto had the second-best power play (25 per cent) and 11th-ranked penalty kill (81.4) in the regular season while Boston had the fourth-best power play (23.5) and finished second in killing penalties (83.7).
The momentum in the series may have swung in Toronto's favour with their victory in Game 3, but the Leafs will need more contributions from both young and old to even the series on Thursday.
After Marleau scored his second of the game, with less than four minutes left in regulation, the numbers were ugly.
Now Toronto has some life.
The Maple Leafs may be down but they don't feel as if they're out of it just yet and they are confident that they'll get back in the series in front of the home crowd.
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