The Boston Bruins bounced back in game two to level the NHL first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles (AFP) - The Boston Bruins got back to playing to their strengths on Saturday, bouncing back from an opening series loss to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 and square their NHL playoff series at 1-1.
The Bruins limited their turnovers and rediscovered their scoring touch in game two after being outworked and outskated by the same 4-1 score two nights earlier.
Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for the Bruins, who controlled their Atlantic Division rivals by taking a 3-0 lead halfway through the game.
“We didn’t play to our identity in game one,” said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy. “We all knew that. We wanted to move past it and we hit a lot of checklists.”
Charlie Coyle, Danton Heinen and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins at the Boston Garden.
The series shifts to Toronto for game three on Monday.
Boston’s line of Bergeron, Marchand and David Pastrnak dominated the Leafs in the playoffs last year but they were not a factor in Thursday’s game one.
So getting on the board in Saturday’s game was a huge relief for Bergeron and Marchand but one worrying factor for Boston might be the play of Czech forward Pastrnak, who has yet to kick his game into playoff mode.
The Bruins also might be without rushing defenceman Torey Krug going forward after he was injured on a hit by Jake Muzzin and had to leave in the middle of the game.
Rask was also better in game two, allowing just one goal to Maple Leafs agitator Nazem Kadri.
Frederik Andersen made 37 saves, several spectacular, for Toronto.
Kadri is likely going to face a suspension from the league for a vicious crosscheck to the neck of Boston’s Jake DeBrusk late in the game.
He was slapped with a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his attack after DeBrusk put a dangerous board hit on Leafs forward Patrick Marleau in the same shift. Neither Marleau or DeBrusk appeared to be seriously hurt.
“You have to keep your composure,” Leafs forward John Tavares said. “Not everything’s going to go your way. Things aren’t going to be called that you think should be called, and we just have to stay with it.”
DeBrusk and Kadri also had a run-in in the second when the Maple Leafs player appeared to injure his knee. Kadri left the game to get treatment but eventually returned to the bench.