Maple Leafs return home to regroup against Bruins
TORONTO - The Boston Bruins dominated the first two games of their first-round playoff series, outscoring the Toronto Maple Leafs 12-4.
The series will move to Toronto for the next two games with the reeling Maple Leafs left to try to regain their confidence for Game 3 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
"You work all season to build that confidence," Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak said Sunday. "Obviously, the first two games didn't go as planned. You know you want to go in there, get a split for sure and come home with a win, but now we're just going to have to go to work at home and get both of these games."
The Bruins' top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand has dominated the Maple Leafs.
Pastrnak had three goals and three assists in the 7-3 victory Saturday night as the Bruins took a 2-0 series lead. The 21-year-old right winger became the youngest player in NHL history with a six-point playoff game.
The six points tied Phil Esposito and Rick Middleton for the Bruins' franchise playoff record.
Pastrnak has nine points through the Bruins' first two games, which tied Esposito's NHL and Bruins records for the most points in the opening two games of a playoff series.
"He's got that confidence," said Bergeron, the center on the line. "He wants to be the guy. He wants to make those plays. If we don't have the puck, he hunts it back. ... That's what amazes me with him.
"There's a lot of skill players that are skilled when they have the puck and when they don't have it, they don't necessarily want it as much as this guy right here. So I think he's taken a tremendous step this year by the way that he plays away from the puck."
"Terrific and terrific," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the way Boston's top line played at even strength and on the power play.
"I don't think I can say any more. I mean, you saw it, right? They're on (Saturday night). Hard to play against. Really hard to play against, and they play a 200-foot game. You can talk about Bergy and Marchy on the PK too while you're at it."
Bergeron and Marchand each had four assists on Saturday.
Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock had a brief answer when asked Sunday what needed to be done against the Bruins' top line.
"We're going to play hard against them," he said. "We've got last change."
The Maple Leafs did have a 33-28 advantage in shots on goal, including a 26-22 edge in shots on goal when the teams were at even strength. Toronto had a 63-39 lead in shot attempts in all situations, 51-30 lead at even strength.
"Any way you look at it, we're down 0-2 and we haven't been as good as we're capable of being," Babcock said. "When you go right through it from -- the way I look at it is, there are so many things we can do better.
"They scored a goal that was offside, we didn't have the stuff, we didn't do that. Our penalty kill hasn't been as good, we've left our goalies alone. We've had two too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties where a guy is substituting for another guy.
"All those things, when you look at it, it hasn't gone very good. That's real disappointing. In saying all that, this is our first game at home in front of our crowd. We're going to be great."
Babcock removed starting goaltender Frederik Andersen after Boston's fourth goal in the first period and replaced him with Curtis McElhinney.
Andersen will be in goal Monday.
"Oh yeah, for sure, 100 percent," Babcock said. "He's our guy. The puck was going in and it wasn't going our way, so we got him out. .. we haven't done a very good job in front of him.
"You've got to give your goalie a chance to be good. We haven't done that. Freddie is our guy and he'll be back tomorrow."
Babcock was not certain about the status of center Leo Komarov, who left the game Saturday with a lower-body injury. He was to be examined again Sunday.
"What I'm planning on doing is going without him and then if he shows up, then he shows up," Babcock said.
The Maple Leafs will be without center Nazem Kadri, who is serving the second game of a three-game suspension for his hit on Boston's Tommy Wingels during the Bruins' 5-1 victory in Game 1 on Thursday.
Wingels did not play Saturday because of an undisclosed injury but could return for Game 3. Riley Nash also could return Monday. He has missed seven games with a lacerated ear.
Updated April 15, 2018