While they were one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, they have been taken apart by the Boston Bruins in the first two games of the series and must find a way to turn it around when the two teams meet on Monday night.
While Babcock did an obviously great job pulling his top talents away from Bergeron, his move to put Tomas Plekanec on Bergeron's unit was far from a success. Usual second-line centre Nazem Kadri was suspended three games for his selfish boarding incident in the series opener and Leo Komarov was injured in Game 2.
Toronto, which was 1 for 7 with the man advantage through the first two games, made the Bruins pay just 7 seconds later when van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the series.
In total, Pastrnak and his line mates have wracked up 20 points, the Leafs top line only has 2 points. "You're just out there", Babcock said.
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The tributes in her honour have warmed my heart. "She was just an ordinary woman, one of us, but dared to fight for what is right", Zondwa said.
"We talked about this series being, it's going to be a tough series".
When the puck dropped to start the game, the Leafs players came out with the determination their coach was talking about. They were dominating the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that all changed on Monday night.
It was a monumental performance for the 21-year-old, who becomes the youngest player in National Hockey League history to record six points in a playoff game, surpassing Wayne Gretzky's record by four months. But at some point, we need to see some sort of pushback from the Maple Leafs to truly believe that they're indeed alive, no? "At the end of the day they are going to be our best line every night".
Pastrnak would have another opportunity with one minute left on the power play, but Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen made the save.
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But in reality, the B's also knew that at some point the youthful speed and skill of the Leafs would be a factor in this best-of-seven tussle. Cassidy was adamant that the puck glanced off of the glass first before leaving the rink and shouldn't have been called. Andersen surrendered weak goals to both Adam McQuaid (a modest shot from the point that went through him) and a brutal angle shot from Zdeno Chara ...
The Bruins had some great chances to tie the game late in the 3rd period. But Andersen committed the cardinal sin for goalies - he let in another softie after his teammates worked mightily to get the lead back. Kasperi Kapanen nearly got the lead back for the Leafs with a shot that beat Rask but rang off iron. The Avs scored three times in the first period. The goal, at 17:05 of the first, gave the Leafs their first lead of the series ...
Andersen redeemed himself in the first minute of the third period when the Leafs took their first penalty.
- Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk created several scoring chances, including one where he went past multiple Leafs to set up David Krejci with a good look in front of crease. Then he saved a sure goal with two minutes to go, diving backwards to get the blade of his stick on a shot.
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