Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one loss away from the end of their season after a 3-1 defeat to the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Following a bounce back Game 3 victory, the Buds couldn’t find a way to beat Tuuka Rask more than once in Game 4.
This was a game that surly was all for the taking for the Maple Leafs, especially with Bruins superstar Patrice Bergeron sitting out due to an upper body injury.
With Boston centre Riley Nash slotting into the top line, this game seemed to be all but handed to for Toronto, but familiar defensive mistakes would cost them again.
The Bruins were able to grab the ice breaker 28 seconds into the hockey game, off a floater of a shot from defensemen Torey Krug that Frederik Andersen failed to track.
Although it seemed doom and gloom after this goal, latest Leaf acquisition Tomas Plekanec was able to bury his first goal as a Maple Leaf, with just under eight minutes to play in the opening frame.
This sparked Toronto to outplay Boston for the remainder of the first period, as well as the majority of the second frame.
Tuuka Rask stood on his head in the second period, making some ten bell saves on Patrick Marleau, Dominic Moore, and Andreas Johnsson.
Then, ill-witted decisions by two Maple Leafs blue-liners would cost them the game.
The first being with just over three minutes to play in the second period off a lost face-off by Auston Matthews. On the play Jake Gardiner pinched down the left wall and was unable to get the puck or the man, leading Pasternak to find Marchand for an easy two on one finish.
These ill-advised decisions can’t be made in the playoffs, especially when the opposing team has two of their most skilled forwards on the ice at the time.
Then, with under 16 minutes to play in regulation, rookie defensemen Travis Dermott made a similar pinch to Gardiner’s but attempted to fire the puck on net. Unfortunately for Dermott, the shot deflected off of Boston forward David Krejci’s shin-pad leading to a two on one, and another easy goal scored by Jake DeBrusk.
Frederik Andersen was unable to come up with a huge save of his own for his team, but he was practically held out to dry on both two on one finishes.
Toronto now faces elimination and the potential for their season to be over after Saturday.
If there is some good news heading into the next game for the Maple Leafs, it’s that second line centreman Nazem Kadri will be back from serving his three game suspension.
Game time for Game 5 is set for 8:00pm from the TD Garden and can be viewed on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
More coverage to follow. Image from the NHL