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Recap: Bruins play a complete game, hold on late to force a Game 7

Didn’t start great. Ended terrifying. But we’re coming home!

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

No Streamables today (Chris will have to be fired, I think), so we’re going with GIFs from a few people, including the GIF Legend himself, @PeteBlackburn.

Morgan Reilly gets the scoring started for the Leafs in the first, as his slapshot through traffic beats Tuukka Rask. The goal came after the Bruins failed to clear the puck at the blue line. 1-0 Leafs.

The Bruins would respond in a big way, with Brad Marchand getting a friendly bounce on the power play a few minutes after Reilly’s goal. 1-1 tie.

This slewfoot by Travis Dermott led to a high-sticking penalty on Joakim Nordstrom. Show this to your Leafs buds next time they complain about the refs.

The power play would be a weapon again! Torey Krug collected a rebound and wired it past Frederik Andersen to make it 2-1 Bruins.

David Krejci, who has been a monster in this series, threads the needle to a hard-charging Jake DeBrusk. He finishes the play with quite a tip, and it’s 3-1 Bruins.

Auston Matthews makes it terrifying with a third-period goal, one that Rask would probably like to have back. 3-2 Bruins.

Brad Marchand sends us all home happy, icing it with an empty-netter. 4-2 Bruins.

And that’s it! The B’s put forth arguably their most complete game of the series (save Game 2), and held on when it counted. We have a winner-take-all Game 7 coming up!

Game notes

  • Annnnnnnd...exhale! What a wild finish, eh? I went from convinced the Bruins were going to blow it to convincing myself I believed in them all along over the course of a few minutes. Playoff hockey...isn’t it fun?
  • I know the 4-1 win in Game 2 was more satisfying, but I’d argue this was the Bruins’ best game of the series thus far. They rolled the Leafs in terms of possession and shot attempts for large stretches of this game, particularly in the late first and second periods. The Bruins were polar opposites of Friday night: they skated, broke the zone cleanly, forechecked hard, and won puck battles. It was refreshing.
  • This game was like a who’s who of coming through when called upon. Brad Marchand got on the board. Jake DeBrusk got off the schneid. The power play finally showed up. Ideally, these guys can ride that momentum into Game 7.
  • Per Natural Stat Trick, Marcus Johansson, Sean Kuraly, and Karson Kuhlman were all +70% CF% at even strength. That’s some solid hockey from your lower-lineup guys.
  • Frederik Andersen very nearly stole this game, making a number of stellar stops. The one on Patrice Bergeron in the first stands out, as does his scramble on Pastrnak in the third and his mini-breakaway stop on DeBrusk. He ended the night with 37 saves.
  • Tuukka Rask was fine, though you’d like to see him save that Matthews shot. Matthews is an elite talent, to be sure, and the shot was perfectly placed, but Rask looked a bit out of position and it didn’t appear to be tipped. Still, Natural Stat Trick credits Rask with saving 100% of his high- and medium-danger shot attempts (12 out of 12).
  • I was getting annoyed, but one can only imagine how mad NBC was getting at that guy standing in front of the camera down the stretch. MOVE. MOVE!!!!!!!! A viewer on Twitter told me that the CBC feed didn’t have that issue. Makes you wonder if CBC is (understandably) given prime camera position. NBC would do well to make a bit of a fuss.
  • While he went goalless, David Pastrnak was credited with 5 shots on goal and 6 individual scoring chances for, per NST. An active game from him, even if he didn’t end up in the goal column.
  • This game was another weird one for the officials. They seemed to alternate between calling everything in the first half of the game to calling nothing in the second half. Leafs fans, of course, insist that the Leafs are getting screwed; Bruins fans think the same of their team. World keeps spinning...
  • Bruce Cassidy finds himself in an interesting spot: roll with this group, or make lineup changes for Tuesday? Does he give the veteran David Backes a shot in a Game 7? My guess is no, but it’s something to think about.
  • It’s arguably the most wonderful sports time of the year. If you’re a Boston sports fan, today was a good day: the Celtics swept the Pacers, the Bruins forced a Game 7, and the Red Sox won in extra innings to complete a sweep of their own. Happy Easter, indeed.