Game Day Preview: Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 3
One team is in the driver’s seat, while the other is in desperation mode as the Bruins-Maple Leafs series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 Monday night.
Things might not have been flawless for the Bruins in Games 1 and 2, but they’ve excelled in many areas and exposed some weaknesses in their Original Six rivals. Whether it’s Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak (a combined 20 points through the first two games) having their way against the Leafs D, setting the physical tone, establishing their special teams’ prowess or getting off to quick starts, the Black and Gold have the Leafs on their heels and in a must-win situation.
Eight different Bruins lit the lamp en route to a 12-4 aggregate in the first two games of the series. They are getting contributions up and down the lineup and will likely have another healthy forward ready as Riley Nash (head) is probable for Game 3 — Matt Grzelcyk, on the other hand, is doubtful with a lower-body injury.
The Leafs will be shorthanded with Nazem Kadri serving the second of his three-game suspension and Leo Komarov out after leaving Game 2 with a lower-body injury. Tomas Plekanec will likely move up to the second line centering Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner, while former Bruin Dominic Moore could see fourth line minutes in Game 3.
No question the Leafs will have to come out to a strong start in Game 3. The Bruins hope to counter Toronto’s desperation and put a stranglehold on the series.
Gametime: 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Series: Bruins lead 2-0
Location: Air Canada Centre
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
Nick Holden-Adam McQuaid
Maple Leafs projected lines
Zach Hyman-Auston Matthews-William Nylander
Patrick Marleau-Tomas Plekanec-Mitch Marner
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Connor Brown
Andreas Johansson-Dominic Moore-Kasperi Kapanen
Morgan Reilly-Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner-Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott-Roman Polak
Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 3 storylines
– Just how good are a team’s odds when winning the first two games at home? Well, as James Mirtle from The Athletic noted, nearly 89 percent of the teams who win Games 1 and 2 on home ice go on to win their series. The Bruins are one of the 11 percent that overcame those odds after losing the first two games in Vancouver in 2011. Of course, this is a much different team than that 2011 squad, which also came from 2-0 down against Montreal in the first round, but it serves as a reminder that things can go awry with a little bit of puck luck.
– In Game 1, the Bruins had to overcome a Leafs surge after taking an early lead. In Game 2, they needed Tuukka Rask to bail them out in the second and third as they played a little loose with a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes. Their hiccups didn’t come back to haunt them, but with the series now shifting north of the border, the Bruins need to take any opportunity they can to close things out during Game 3. They’ve done a good job overcoming deficits in the regular season, but the last thing the Bruins want to do is give hope to a struggling Leafs bunch.