Toronto at Boston
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a postseason series since 2004 -- a streak they hope to snap when they visit the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night in a winner-take-all Game 7 of their Eastern Conference first-round set. After facing series deficits of 2-0 and 3-1, the Maple Leafs staved off elimination with a 4-3 win at Boston in Game 5 before prevailing 3-1 on Monday night.
Despite's Boston early dominance, the series is eerily reminiscent of the previous meeting between the teams in the playoffs in 2013, when Toronto won Games 5 and 6 only to become the first team in history to cough up a three-goal third-period lead in Game 7. “In both scenarios, we’ve been down 3-1 and come back,” Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner said. "We’re not thinking specifically about (the past) with Boston. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup and you have to beat everybody. The pressure is kind of off us. Just relax, treat it like another game, and ultimately you’ll be ready.” It appeared the Bruins would make it a short series after winning the opening two games by a combined 12-4, but they remain confident of advancing to a conference semifinal matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “If anybody would have told us at the start of the year that we’d be going into a Game 7 in the first round at home, we would have taken it," Boston forward Brad Marchand said. "Whatever has happened in the last six games doesn’t mean anything. ... It’s going to be a challenge. They’re a great team and they’ve played really well in this series. It’s gonna be fun and we’re looking forward to it.” TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS (Toronto), NESN (Boston)ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS:
Frederik Andersen entered the series with a 10-1-0 record against Boston, but he was pierced early and often before turning in superb performances in the past two outings, making 42 saves in Game 5 and turning aside 32 of 33 shots in Game 6. “We’ve played with that (elimination) mentality for a bit now and we should be comfortable with it,” Andersen said. “But I don’t think there’s too much momentum going on in the playoffs like this." Mitch Marner is riding the momentum of a stellar series, delivering the tiebreaking score Monday to give him two goals and six assists during a five-game point streak.ABOUT THE BRUINS:
Boston's top line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak amassed a staggering 20 points in the first two games of the series, but the unit has been held off the scoresheet in each of the three losses while posting a minus-16 in those games. Maybe there is a little bit of (frustration), but you've got to go back to the drawing board and find the character we've shown all year," said Bergeron, who has been stifled since sitting out Game 4 due to injury. "Now it's about one game." Coach Bruce Cassidy dropped Rick Nash to the third line with Riley Nash and David Backes and replaced him with Danton Heinen.OVERTIME
1. Boston is 1-for-9 on the power play over the past four games after converting on 5 of 10 in the first two.
2. Maple Leafs F Leo Komarov is ready to return after sitting out four games but coach Mike Babcock will wait until Wednesday to make a decision on him.
3. Bruins G Tuukka Rask is 5-12 in elimination games.PREDICTION:
Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 2
Stats and Records