Currently the series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs is tied at a game a piece, the Bruins winning Game 1 by a 4-1 margin and the Leafs taking Game 2, 4-2. Tonight the Bruins look to take a series advantage in Toronto for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference QuarterFinals.
Tonight the Bruins lines will once again be shuffled around as Andrew Ference is eligible to return tonight after serving a one-game suspension. With the likely return of Ference to the lineup, rookie d-man Dougie Hamilton will likely be participating in tonight’s game from the stands, supporting his teammates. Aside from the defensemen switching places, there won’t likely be any more line changes.
The Leafs came out Saturday night at the Garden ready to play a strong, physical game. The Bruins unfortunately came up at the short end of the stick as they tried to match the intensity level. Their first twenty minutes rang of opportunities (literally) with Tyler Seguin using his speed and agility to undress the Leafs defense single-handed. If the Bruins stand a chance at owning the Maple Leafs through Game 3, they are going to have to be prepared for a fast-paced, strong physical game for the full sixty minutes. Their focus needs to be on breaking out in the neutral zone to create odd-man rushes that nine times out of ten will beat James Reimer.
Saturday’s game ended with Shawn Thornton sending a message to the Leafs, deciding to tango with Matt Fraser. Some may take it as overflowing emotions from a well-fought game, others may say it’s a message being sent for tonight. A message preparing the Leafs to be ready for the Bruins revenge.
The team looks to hit the reset button and own the next three games in order to advance into the next round of the playoffs and need to show the grit and determination that their minor league affiliate has shown against the Hershey Bears. Tonight’s game is being broadcast on NESN and can also be heard on 98.5 the Sports Hub, home of the Boston Bruins radio network.
Johnny Boychuk has been able to record two goals in the past two games for the Bruins, despite a 24-game drought during the regular season. His blue line presence and heavy hitting have been a key factor for the Bruins so far and will continue to be as the series goes on.
Between the Pipes…
With Tuukka Rask getting the nod for the first two games of the series and proving himself as an elite top goaltender, it is most likely he will be between the pipes tonight as well. Through the regular season he sported a 1.97 goals against average, good for top 5 in the League. He will battle against James Reimer at the opposing end of the ice for Toronto.
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