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Bruins vs. Maple Leafs GAME 3 PREVIEW 4/16/18

Up 2-0 in the series, Boston now finds itself heading into enemy territory. Can they put the Leafs on the edge of elimination?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Just the Facts:

The Time: 7pm EST

The Place: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Places to Watch: NESN, NBCSN, TVAS, CBC

Places to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing SBNation Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Players to Watch:

  • Currently leading the Leafs in points this series are Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, Morgan Reilly, and Zach Hyman, all with 2.
  • Leo Komarov will not make it to tonight’s game, so expect an update in the lineup. Perhaps a player like Josh Leivo makes it into the Leafs roster? Or god forbid...Matt Martin? Maybe even Dominic Moore!
  • Riley Nash could be ready to go tomorrow. As could Tommy Wingels.
  • David Pastrnak had an absolutely phenomenal game on Saturday. Check out the highlights here! Hopefully he can keep things up
  • The Bergeron line has 20 points in 2 games. That’s insane.

Game Notes:

  • Two lopsided victories have the Bruins riding high, especially after the absolute ass-kicking that Boston put down on the Leafs defense in Game 2. Expect the Leafs to be desperate, and shooting on every shot that seems even slightly dangerous. They’re on home turf and have the last change now, so line matching, and more importantly line changing, is going to be critical going into this one.
  • Last game the Leafs controlled the shot game, but Boston’s defense ensured that the three that went in had to be done practically right in front of his face. Controlling the net-front will help stymie the Toronto attack.
  • Riley Nash possibly could enter the playoffs for this game and what an addition that would be! It’d also make sure that the lines return to their proper state, which would be a welcome change from having a player or two out every game.
  • Hopefully we see the 2nd line cash in on a few more chances. Rick Nash especially has been sprung for fantastic chance after fantastic chance, and it’d be real nice for him to get some more points.
  • Penalties are again going to be one of those gigantic x-factors Boston will have to contend with going into Game 3. They managed to take the Leafs out of their game last time and draw more than a few that helped them pull away for good, but they ended up also on the end of some power play goals themselves. In a series that’s been...let’s call it “creatively” called so far, taking the refs out of the game with solid, strong 5-on-5 play that doesn’t warrant a penalty will be key. Them playing as they do against Toronto seems to cause the Leafs to lose themselves, anyway.
  • While they’ll probably brush it off, the reality is the Leafs really might be playing this game like an elimination game. The old quotation is that “You’re only in trouble if you lose at home”, and having a similar performance to games’ 1 and 2 would be devastating to a Leafs team that seems to have some issues keeping it together for a full 60 minutes so far.