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Recap: Bruins start strong, hold on late to even their series with the Leafs

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Whew...

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

We’ve got Streamables from Chris tonight! If you don’t see the videos below, click the link at the end of each description.

Charlie to Charlie! Charlie McAvoy gets a pass from Charlie Coyle and buries it on the PP to give the Bruins an early lead. 1-0 Bruins

Speaking of Charlie McAvoy, he’s on the giving end of this one, feeding Brad Marchand with a perfect pass for a tap-in. 2-0 Bruins

Zach Hyman wins a physical battle in front, and then tips the shot home to cut the lead to 2-1 Bruins.

This was one Tuukka Rask would like to have back, as Auston Matthews’ seemingly harmless snapshot slides through Rask to tie things up at 2-2.

The Bruins would respond quickly, and it’s everybody’s favorite carbohydrate finally getting on the board. 3-2 Bruins

Speaking of carbohydrates, David Pastrnak wasn’t done. 4-2 Bruins

Zdeno Chara decided it was his turn to get in on the action, weaving one through traffic to make it 5-2 Bruins.

Annnnnnnnnnd then it got interesting! Auston Matthews converted on a PP tap-in to make it 5-3 Bruins.

Speaking of weaving through traffic, this Travis Dermott shot bobbed, weaved and looked like it deflected on its way to making it 5-4 Bruins.

The Leafs were all over the Bruins in the dying minutes, but ultimately, it was the oft-maligned Joakim Nordstrom who iced things with 2 seconds left. 6-4 Bruins

And........EXHALE. Bruins WIN, and the series is tied at two games apiece.

Game notes

  • Yikes! It started good, got bad, got great, then very nearly got bad again. Isn’t playoff hockey fun?
  • Bruce Cassidy finally elected to start juggling his lines, and it paid off. David Pastrnak got back on the board, though both of his goals were assisted by normal linemate Brad Marchand, who got on the board as well.
  • Charlie McAvoy played his best game of the series tonight. He was active in the offensive zone, won plenty of puck battles in the defensive zone, and really used his skating to his advantage over the course of the evening.
  • Tuukka Rask had a bit of a weird game. He flubbed Matthews’ first goal, but then made up for it with a few big saves in the second and third. Had the B’s lost this game, all eyes would have been on that second Leafs goal; instead, we’re on to Game 5.
  • Tyler Ennis brought a lot of spark to the Leafs’ bottom six. He got into it a bit with Zdeno Chara, who always seems to have beef with the tiny guys. Remember his feuds with Nathan Gerbe? Good times.
  • I don’t know how close he is, but the Bruins could really use Sean Kuraly right now. Their 4th line got caved in all night. Noel Acciari and Nordstrom both sported sub-25% CF% at even strength, while Chris Wagner wasn’t much better at 28%.
  • Marcus Johansson, finally back from his illness, took a wicked shot off the inside of his leg in the second period. Bad luck, but he would return.
  • Tuukka Rask’s high-danger saves were ultimately what won the Bruins this game. Per Natural Stat Trick, Rask stopped 5 of 7 high-danger Leafs chances 5v5. Frederik Andersen, on the other hand, allowed 2 goals on 4 5v5 high-danger chances.
  • Game 5 should be interesting, in that both teams probably feel relatively good going into it. Sure, the Leafs lost, but they buried the Bruins for large stretches of this game. Sure, the Bruins may have been buried at times, but they took the Leafs’ best pressure and still won. Hockey is weird.
  • I’d imagine we see the same lineup Friday night at the Garden (7 PM start time, by the way, if you haven’t seen that yet), unless Kuraly is ready.

Best of three series with two games at home! Not the worst place to be.