Bruins strike early and have Leafs on the brink

Clyde Nash
April 21, 2018

Bergeron skated with the Bruins on Friday morning, and Cassidy followed that up by saying he's "not ruling him out" for Saturday's Game 5.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn't rule out his top-line center returning for a possible close-out Game 5 Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

Thursday was more of the same for Matthews and Nylander, as they've combined for just a goal and an assist throughout the first four games against Boston, which leads the opening-round series 3-1. The Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 3-2 in overtime.

It was announced prior to the game that Patrice Bergeron would not be playing due to an upper-body injury.

A four-time Selke Award victor as the NHL's best defensive forward and the Bruins' No. 3 scorer this year with 63 points in 64 games, Bergeron broke his foot while blocking a shot on February 24 and was sidelined for a month. Riley Nash took Bergeron's spot on Tuesday night. "We got it, and we needed it, because early on, they were better". Toronto center Nazem Kadri served the final game of his suspension for taking a run Boston forward Tommy Wingels in the series opener.

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Pastrnak drew both defenseman Nikita Zaitsev and Andersen toward him and slipped the puck across ice to Marchand, who did not miss the wide-open net, giving the B's a 2-1 lead with 3:55 to go in the second.

The Bruins lead the series 3-1 and can advance to the next round of the Eastern Conference tournament with a victory. Scoring their lone goal in game four was Tomas Plekanec, which was his 1st of the series and 7th of the year.

However, the Leafs continued to push and tied the game 7 minutes later.

When the Maple Leafs' Andreas Johnsson went down with an injury in the third period, the officials didn't blow the play dead until just before the Bruins entered the attacking zone. "Today we did, we did it together and at the end of the day we got the 'W.' So that's great". Logan Couture had a goal and two assists, Joe Pavelski, Evander Kane and Timo Meier scored power-play goals in the third period, for the Sharks, who have outscored the Ducks 14-3 through the first three games of the first-round series. To me, if you're these players and you've seen that, you want to see it again.

Auston Matthews scored the victor on a setup from William Nylander in Game 3, but both have been held off the scoresheet otherwise. We've got to compete harder, we've got to play better.

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Marner also set up Patrick Marleau on a 2-on-1 in the first after the Bruins scored on the game's first shot, but Rask was there to make a pad save. Trying to slow the Bergeron line is enough of a job by itself but Kadri has the ability not only to frustrate an opponent but to score on him as well. Torey Krug added his first playoff goal for the Bruins, who haven't advanced to round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs since the 2013-14 season.

"I think if it happened against us I'd say the same thing".

"I was. I kind of hung back", he said.

"I'm assuming he thought he would come tonight and dominate the game - that's what I thought", the coach said.

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