Player of the Game: Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 5
The Boston Bruins had a chance to put away the Toronto Maple Leafs in front of the TD Garden faithful in Game 5 Friday night. But the B’s lacked a killer instinct and the desperate Leafs took care of business winning 2-1 behind the spectacular play of James Reimer.
The Leafs struck first when Tyler Bozak broke loose after a costly turnover by Andrew Ference and they never looked back. Clarke MacArthur neeted the dagger in the third period putting the Leafs up two. Zdeno Chara’s late goal was not enough as the Black and Gold will have to wait to try to close out the series (again) in Game 6 Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Unquestionably, Reimer was the story of the night making 43 saves in his best game of the series.
Coming into Game 5, Reimer was sub-par allowing four goals in three of the first four games. But on this night, Reimer was one of the main reasons why the Leafs extended the series.
“Yeah, again you know, the playoffs take different twists and turns and as a young goaltender he’s been presented with a lot of pressure,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said about Reimer. “He’s remained fairly calm and levelheaded and you can see the growth of a hockey player and especially a goaltender that’s finding this way and learning some of the intricacies of playoff hockey and the experience should be real valuable to him as it should be to all of our young players.”
Reimer talked after the game on whether this game was the highlight of his career to this point.
“Yeah, I mean it was a fun game, but we’re in a series,” said the Leafs goalie. “It doesn’t mean much unless you come that hard the next game. So, I thought we played well as a team, I thought we battled hard and obviously we’re in a tough position, but again Boston came hard and brought everything they could, especially in the third. Clarke MacArthur was able to give us a nice goal there and it gave us a little bit of lead and then we were just able to dig in and kind of weather their storm.”
Reimer went on to talk about the level of belief in his team and he stated it is where it needs to be.
“We obviously believe in each other and what we can accomplish as a team, but I don’t think we’re ahead of ourselves,” Reimer said. “We’ve still got a long road ahead of us and we’ve got to come out in two days and play hard. It’s going to be another tough battle and we’re going to have bring our A game to try and squeak out a win.”
The Bruins stole two games in Toronto earlier in the week. If the Maple Leafs want to force a Game 7, then Reimer needs to be spectacular again in front of his home crowd.