Boston Bruins (52-20-9-3) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (49-28-5-2)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 16, 2018
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
After winning the first two games in Boston, the Bruins (2nd in Atlantic Division) are traveling to Toronto for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Maple Leafs (3rd in Atlantic).
Bruins Host Another Rout
Following Thursday’s 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series, the Boston Bruins (2-0) delivered another killer performance in the following fixture, notching a 7-3 win at TD Garden on Saturday. Boston was led by David Pastrnak, who notched a hat trick and three assists, and has now, with nine points (4 strikes, 5 helpers), tied Bruins legend Phil Esposito (1969) for highest points total through the first two playoff contests. Jake DeBrusk, Kevan Miller and Rick Nash picked up their first goals of the current postseason. David Krejci (3 points during the ongoing playoffs) recorded his second marker of the campaign, while Patrice Bergeron (5 points) and Brad Marchand (6 points) collected four assists each.
Goalie Tuukka Rask made 30 saves, taking his 2018 postseason tally to 2-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .933 save percentage. He has posted a 32-23 career total in all previous playoff appearances so far with a 2.12 GAA and a .929 save percentage and, prior to the current postseason, had gone 16-7-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 2.14 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The Bruins, meanwhile, are scoring the absolute highest number of goals per game during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (6.00), while allowing the 5th lowest amount defensively (2.00). They are 2nd best in power play with a 50.0% success rate (5-for-10) and 3rd in penalty kill with 85.7% efficiency (6-for-7).
Leafs Fail To Break Boston
The Toronto Maple Leafs (0-2) lost in Boston for the second consecutive time during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and for the third straight time this season overall after dropping a 7-3 decision against the Bruins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup. Despite outshooting the hosts 33-28 and winning 61% of all the face-offs, the Leafs still went just 2-for-4 on the penalty kill, netted just once on four power-play chances and finished the first period with a 4-0 deficit, allowing one more goal in the second frame and two more in the final third. Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk all got their first strikes during the current postseason, with Marner also notching an assist.
Goalie Frederik Andersen (0-1 for the ongoing playoffs with a 6.67 GAA and a .822 save percentage) was pulled after allowing three goals on just five shots in just over 12 minutes of play, with back-up Curtis McElhinney (0-1 with a 5.11 GAA and a .826 save percentage) giving up four strikes on 23 shots subsequently. Andersen, though, is set to return to the crease in Game 3, having posted a 19-14 career tally in his previous postseasons with a 2.55 GAA and a .911 save percentage and recording a 10-1-0 past total against the Bruins with a 2.09 GAA and a .935 save percentage. The Maple Leafs are scoring the 5th lowest amount of goals per game during the current playoffs (2.00), while conceding the absolute highest quantity defensively (6.00). They are 13th in power play with a 14.3% return (1-for-7) and 14th in penalty kill with 50.0% proficiency (5-for-10).
- Bruins are 11-3 in their last 14 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Bruins are 24-7 in their last 31 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Bruins are 20-7 in their last 27 vs. Atlantic.
- Maple Leafs are 0-5 in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Maple Leafs are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Maple Leafs are 17-41 in their last 58 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
The way the Bruins are playing at the moment, it is quite difficult to see the Maple Leafs handling them even in Toronto, where the hosts have gone 29-10-2 for the regular season and have beaten Boston on the last four occasions. The Leafs have, however, won just 17 of their past 58 overall contests versus sides with a winning percentage above .600 and have already looked vulnerable against the confidence and overall skill of the Bruins, who have already won 11 of their past 14 fixtures when their opponent concedes five or more goals in its previous game…