Boston Bruins Take Commanding 3-1 Lead Thanks To Tuukka Rask

Monday night in Toronto's 4-2 win over Boston, it was obvious that the hockey Gods were watching over the Leafs. The Leafs have now scored just nine total goals in the series and that just won't get it done against a very good offensive team in Boston. They know the game will be tough, given that the Maple Leafs will be trying to stay alive, but they believe they're prepared. Look for him to have a big impact in Game 5, physically and perhaps n the score board as well.

The Bruins exposed the Leafs' gameplan again five minutes into the third. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the league in this young season, is an improvement over the 44-38 record from last year's regular season campaign.

The Boston Bruins have proven all year that they have heart. Home team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings and over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.

Toronto Maple Leafs Connor Brown during third period playoff action in Round 1 Game 4 against the Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday April 19, 2018.

It was back in 2013 during Game 4 that Dion Phaneuf made an ill-timed pinch in overtime, leading to Boston's victor by David Krejci, which also put the Leafs down three games to one.

The former will be returning from his three-game suspension, while the latter is coming back from an injury suffered in Game 2. With a win tonight the B's will take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

And back in 2013, the B's were up 3-1 after a David Krejci overtime victor in Game 4 in Toronto, but then lost the next two and needed their historic third period miracle comeback to escape that series.

Matthews has one goal in the series while Nylander is stuck on one assist. The summary of Game 3 showed that against the Plekanec line, the Bruins' first line did not earn a single point, and they were held to a mere nine shots the entire game. The centre received a pass from a sprawling Mitch Marner and buried the puck past a moving Tuukka Rask just minutes after the Boston marker. The Bruins have won only 43.7 per cent of faceoffs, but are outshooting the Leafs 32.8 to 30.5 on average ... When David Krejci was struggling, DeBrusk was getting some good scoring chances and playing well. At the defensive end of the ice, they were very good as they ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 2.57 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (29.3 spg) and 3rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.3% of their chances. That's not to say Nash's raw talent is anywhere near the same planet as Pastrnak's and Marchand's, or Bergeron's for that matter, but Nash is no slouch in stopgap duty. And since that devastating 2010 postseason, Rask has done far better with the chance to finish series, going 4-5 combined in the 2013 and 2014 playoffs, helping Boston to Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, where it lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Rask stopped everything the Leafs threw at him.

  • Santos West