Game 7: a tale of two teams and two different stories.
After jumping out to a 3-1 series lead, Game 7 is the last thing the Bruins envisioned. The Maple Leafs, however, couldn’t be happier. After fighting off elimination and staying alive with wins in Games 5 and 6, the Leafs have put all the pressure on the backs of the Black and Gold.
The Bruins haven’t been bad thus far in the series, but they haven’t been great. Struck with inconsistencies, the Bruins were one bounce, one timely save away from punching a ticket to the second round and a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Instead, the Bruins find themselves once again at home in a do-or-die Game 7.
Game 6 proved to be very similar to their previous two losses. Multiple prime scoring chances, only to be met by a huge Frederik Anderson save combined with costly defensive lapses have led to Wednesday’s Game 7.
One team goes onto Tampa Bay Saturday for Game 1, while the other heads home to lick their wounds from another first-round exit.
Bruins fans: tonight might be your last night of the year to take advantage of a great parking deal. Head over Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) — a short walk to and from the Garden — and avoid the traffic and construction on Causeway St. Mention Bruins Daily at the entrance for a prepaid rate of $12 — $3 less than the usual game night price!
Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Series: Tied 3-3
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Rick Nash
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk-Adam McQuaid
Maple Leafs projected lines
Zach Hyman-Auston Matthews-Connor Brown
Patrick Marleau-Nazem Kadri-Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson-Tomas Plekanec-William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Kasperi Kapanen
Morgan Reilly-Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner-Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott-Roman Polak
Bruins-Maple Leafs game 7 storylines
– If the Bruins are to avoid a disastrous first-round collapse, they will need some production from their top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. You know the stat by now. The trio combined for 22 points in the three wins. In their three losses: a combined zero points and a minus-16 rating. Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak appeared to be trying too much in Game 6. They were looking for the extra pass, trying the fancy move and shying away from what made them the most dominant line during the regular season. They need to avoid that and keep things simple in Game 7.
– The Bruins have had their issues in their own zone, starting with the top pair of Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy. The duo has been a surprisingly weak spot for the Bruins. Despite what he tells you, McAvoy is still feeling the effects of a knee injury that caused him to miss some time toward the end of the regular season.
– Bruins fans love to throw some heat toward Tuukka Rask. Between the narrative of not being able to win the big game (like he did in Game 4) or make the big save, (like he did multiple times in the third period of Game 6) the Rask haters have been out in full force. Given his tough history in series-clinching games, though, the Bruins will need a lot more from their $7 million goalie. Otherwise, the haters will have a full off-season to vent.