Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post
Much like five years ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves up 4-1 in TD Garden during an elimination playoff game, however this time they were able to secure the victory 4-3 over the Bruins.
It was far from a comfortable win, but Frederik Andersen was called upon to make multiple huge saves for his team and he did just that on Saturday night.
All together Andersen stopped 42 of a total 45 shots, while his counterpart Tuukka Rask was chased from the game after giving up four goals on 13 shots.
The Maple Leafs dictated how the nights events would take place after seizing a quick 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Connor Brown and Andreas Johnsson.
Auston Matthews had some jump to his step in this game, as seen in his wraparound set up of Brown’s goal. Leaf fans have been waiting to see Matthews really take charge in a game this series, as with the exception of his huge goal in Game 3, Matthews has taken a backseat to other stars.
Nazem Kadri also returned to the lineup following his three game suspension, and he made an impact early, sending a beautiful through pass between Bruins d-men Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy to set up the Johnsson tally.
From there the Maple Leafs carried the momentum throughout the game and rode themselves to a familiar 4-1 lead after a Bruins goal from David Backes and two goals from Toronto coming off the sticks of Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk.
After that, things began to unravel in a hurry, as the Maple Leafs could not stay out of the penalty box for their lives.
Boston was awarded six power plays in the game, to Toronto’s one, and put a tremendous amount of pressure in the Maple Leafs end for the conclusion of the second period, and the entire third.
Without Frederik Andersen standing on his head for a number of saves including this one on David Pastrnak in the third period, it’s safe to say history would have repeated itself five years later.
The Maple Leafs now are set up reasonably well to force a Game 7 back in Boston, as they head back home to the friendly confines of their own building.
Game 6 is set for 7:00pm from the Air Canada Centre and can be watched on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
More coverage to follow. Image from the CBC.