Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Game 4 Reaction: Bruins 4, Leafs 3 (OT)
By Joe McDonald
TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins erased an early two-goal deficit and finished with a 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins' David Krejci scored the winning goal at 13:06 of OT to complete a hat trick and give Boston a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Friday night at TD Garden.
Krejci continues to be an offensive force with his three goals, including a power-play tally, while Patrice Bergeron also added a goal on the man-advantage.
The Maple Leafs had goals from Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson and Clarke MacArthur.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 45 saves, while Toronto netminder James Reimer finished with 41.
After the Maple Leafs held their morning skate to prepare for Game 4, numerous Toronto players were talking about the importance of getting the first goal against the Bruins. Well, the Maple Leafs capitalized at the 2:35 mark of the first period to gain a 1-0 lead. Toronto's Phil Kessel threaded a pass to Lupul out front and he pumped it in for his third goal of the series.
The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs 15-8 in the first period, but in the waning minutes Toronto took a two-goal lead when Franson's easy wrister from the right point beat a screened Rask for a 2-0 advantage.
The Maple Leafs blocked 13 shots in the first period, while Boston blocked two.
The Bruins stormed back in the second period and it didn't take them long to mount the comeback. Only 32 seconds into the period, Bergeron scored a power-play goal to cut Boston's deficit. The Bruins tied the game 2-2 when Krejci scored his first. He crashed the net and knocked home a Brad Marchand shot at 12:59 for his third goal of the series.
He wasn't done.
At 16:39, with the Maple Leafs' Colton Orr in the box for elbowing, Krejci scored a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. His wrist shot from the left faceoff circle beat Reimer to the top left corner.
Boston's lead didn't last for long, however, as MacArthur scored at 17:23 to tie the game 3-3. The Maple Leafs had a 5-on-3 situation for 52 seconds at the end of the second period and to start the third. Boston stifled the attack and killed off the pair of penalties to keep the game tied at three.
The Bruins had a golden opportunity with a four-minute power play early in the third period, but could not capitalize. There was plenty of back-and-forth action in the third and the Bruins created numerous quality scoring chances, but couldn't convert. The Bruins' Nathan Horton had three of those chances.
In overtime, Krejci notched his fifth goal of this series to give the Bruins the win.
SCARY MOMENT: In the closing seconds of the first period, the Bruins were on the power play when forward Milan Lucic was hit in the face by a redirected puck. He dropped to the ice and was bleeding as the buzzer sounded to end the period. He got to his feet and slowly skated off the ice with team trainer Don Del Negro waiting for him at the bench. Lucic returned for the start of the second period and assisted on Bergeron's power-play goal at 32 seconds.
ANOTHER SCARY MOMENT: Nearly to the midway point of the third period, Lucic unloaded a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that hit the Leafs' Mark Fraser in the forehead. The Toronto defenseman dropped to the ice and left a pool of blood. He was able to skate off the ice with the help of a trainer, but did not return.
INJURED: Early in the second period, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk injured what appeared to be his left leg during a scramble in front of Rask. Boychuk skated gingerly to the bench, but came back for his next shift. It didn't last long as he returned to the bench in obvious pain and went to the dressing room. He returned to the ice two minutes later and finished the game.
Bruins forward Chris Kelly also was injured when he took a nasty high stick to the face by the Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri 58 seconds into the third period. Kelly was cut on the play and skated directly to the dressing room and Kadri was handed a double-minor. The Bruins could not capitalize on the four-minute power play. Kelly returned and finished the game.
LINE TWEAK: Coach Claude Julien tweaked his lineup a bit in the second period by flip-flopping Shawn Thornton and Jaromir Jagr. Thornton played on the wing along with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Jagr was lined with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.
SCRATCHES: As expected, Julien kept the same lineup for Game 4. The healthy scratches for Boston were defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Aaron Johnson, along with forwards Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg and Jay Pandolfo.
UP NEXT: The series continues Friday with Game 5 at TD Garden with the Bruins having an opportunity to end it on home ice.