Overtime 6:54, 4-3 Bruins: It’s over, as David Krejci scores on the same exact play he tried earlier, slow-playing a rush and putting a shot on net. The shot beat Reimer inside his right arm, and the Bruins win.
The play was made possible by Nathan Horton paying the price back in the Boston end, when Dion Phaneuf went for a huge hit but sacrificed defense.
The Bruins lead 3-1 and can put away the series Friday night in Boston. What. A. Game.
Overtime, 7:37, 3-3: Phil Kessel was just left with waaay too much room, and he put a good shot on net, but Rask made the save with his chest and hung on to the rebound after initially bobbling the puck.
Down the other end, Bergeron made a tremendously brilliant backhand pass to Marchand, but Marchand missed his shot well wide of the cage. That was a big missed opportunity for Boston.
Overtime, 9:43, 3-3: There have been too many saves tonight for any one stop to be considered the best of the night, but man, the glove save Rask made on Lupul was probably the prettiest.
Lupul took a pass from Bozak in the high slot and fired a hard wrist shot hip-high to Rask’s glove save. He made the stop, and the game continues. Rask now has 43 saves.
Overtime, 13:40, 3-3: The posts have been friendly to Tuukka Rask. He just got some help from his right post after getting just enough of a Matt Frattin shot.
Those are the types of bounces you hear players mention so often. If the Bruins end up winning, remember that bounce.
Overtime, 14:56, 3-3: The men between the pipes are coming up huge in overtime, as both Reimer and Rask have made some impressive stops thus far, keeping this one going.
Overtime, 17:13, 3-3: Big stop by Reimer, who saw the puck through a defenseman’s legs and made the stop on a shot by Krejci. Very craftily could have been the game-winner, but Reimer made a nice stop.
Overtime, 20:00, 3-3: Sudden death overtime is under way in Toronto. This is what the playoffs are all about.
End of regulation, 3-3: I didn’t think it’d get to OT, but as is the norm, I was wrong.
The Leafs lead in shots 37-36, and that’s again an indication of how tight this game has been. Rask has been outstanding, making a couple of saves through traffic in the game’s final minutes, and this one heads to overtime. A 3-1 series lead or a 2-2 series tie is at stake.
Third period, 3:25, 3-3: The Bruins kill the penalty (thanks largely, yet again, to Mr. Bergeron), and it’s now time for this one to be decided. With the pace that this game has had for 56-plus minutes, it’s hard to believe one team won’t find a way to will the puck into the net in the final minutes of regulation.
Third period, 6:33, 3-3: Well, this might be the most important two minutes of the night. Zdeno Chara is heading to the box for two minutes for high-sticking.
Third period, 9:39, 3-3: It’s hard for this game to be any more even than it is. The score remains tied, shots are 33-30 for Boston, each team is generating good chances, and each team even temporarily lost a guy to a facial injury.
Chris Kelly’s out there with a stitched cheek with a cut that looks like a doozy, while Fraser has yet to return after taking Lucic’s shot to the forehead.
This game will be decided by one great burst either way.
Third period, 12:11, 3-3: Furious end-to-end, back-and-forth action comes to a screeching halt when a blast by Lucic gets deflected high into the face of Mark Fraser. The puck caught Fraser right in the forehead, and he is hurt pretty bad. Ouch.
Third period, 13:42, 3-3: The Bruins are unable to capitalize on a 3:30 power play, and the Leafs and the home crowd are trying to build on the momentum from that long kill.
Rask just had to come up with perhaps his most important save of the series, denying Lupul on a bid off a rebound from close range.
Suffice it to say, the home crowd is buzzing, and the Leafs are feeding off it, but the B’s are showing little give. This is playoff hockey at its finest, and it could go either way.
Third period, 19:02, 3-3: The Leafs’ power play is over, thanks to Nazem Kadri losing control of his stick and catching Chris Kelly up high. Kelly was cut pretty bad, so it’ll be a four-minute penalty on Kadri. There’s about 20 seconds of 4-on-4 before the Bosotn power play begins.
Third period, 20:00, 3-3: The Bruins did win that opening draw and dumped it deep, and the final 20 minutes have begun to count down.
Second intermission, 3-3: I didn’t notice this at first, but upon further review, Reimer took a dangerous lunge at Bergeron after a whistle, grabbing the forward’s leg at the knee and lifting it, all while Bergeron was surrounded by four blue jerseys. It was a very dangerous play and could have resulted in an injury for Bergeron, and it no doubt will get some attention from the Bruins.
Of course, being that you can’t really get even with a goaltender.
End of second period, 3-3: The Leafs got a couple of chances with van Riemsdyk all alone on the goal line, but Rask held the post and stopped his shots. Bergeron then stepped in front of a Phaneuf shot and cleared the puck out of the zone, again coming up huge in a short-handed situation for Boston.
There will be 12 seconds of 5-on-3 to start the third period, so winning that opening draw will be key, and Campbell will remain in the box for more than a minute after that.
Second period, 40.5 seconds, 3-3: It’ll be a 5-on-3 for Toronto, after Campbell slashes van Riemsdyk’s stick in half to break up an opportunity. The building is a-rocking, and this may be the game’s critical moment.
Second period, 1:48, 3-3: James van Riemsdyk looked like he had been knocked over by Mike Tyson, when in fact it was just a gentle shove by David Krejci. The refs fell for it though, and the Leafs get a power play out of it.
Second period, 2:37, 3-3: The Boston lead did not last long. Johnny Boychuk blocked a Jake Gardiner shot, and the loose pucked rolled tantalizingly toward the high slot. Clarke MacArthur, who was an addition to the lineup tonight, teed it up and beat Rask with a slapper from about 12 feet. And just like that, it’s a tie game.
Second period, 3:16, 3-2 Bruins: Colton Orr took a dumb penalty for delivering a forearm to the face of Zdeno Chara on a body check, and the Bruins cash in.
Nathan Horton sent a nifty little cross-ice pass from the right circle to the left to a wide-open Krejci. He fired a shot on net and beat Reimer high to the blocker side with a picture-perfect shot, and the Bruins now lead.
Second period, 7:01, 2-2: Another rebound. Another goal. And we have a tie game.
Zdeno Chara carried the puck into the offensive end and dished to Marchand. His wrister from the right dot was initially blocked, but he gathered the puck and fired a shot on net. Krejci crashed the net, and it looked like the rebound bounced off him and into the net.
Reimer continues to give up those big, fat rebounds, and twice it’s cost the Leafs tonight.
Second period, 9:00, 2-1 Maple Leafs: An absolutely brilliant kill by the Bruins, highlighted by Bergeron sending a backhand pass to the slot, which deflected off Phaneuf and on net. After a neutral zone faceoff with four seconds left on the penalty, Paille broke into the offensive zone and fired a wrister high to Reimer’s blocker side. Reimer made the save but had to hang onto it, and the B’s will have an offensive zone faceoff after the TV timeout.
The importance of that penalty kill can’t be overstated.
Second period, 11:03, 2-1 Maple Leafs: Toronto will get a chance to get that two-goal lead back, as Gregory Campbell gets called for hooking.
It came after an extended possession by Toronto when Redden and McQuaid were on the ice. When that duo is on the ice, the Bruins are vulnerable.
Second period, 14:47, 2-1 Maple Leafs: Johnny Boychuk was one hurting man, unable to even get to his feet on a long shift in the Bruins’ end, but he was able to block one shot and dive on a Toronto stick to help break up another chance. It was a scary moment for Boston, as the Leafs were buzzing around the Boston end of the ice, but Seguin eventually got the puck to safety.
Boychuk just made his way down to the Boston locker room to get some attention from the trainer. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone tougher than Boychuk, so you know he’s really hurting to step away from a playoff game. Don’t expect him to be gone for long.
Second period, 19:27, 2-1 Maple Leafs: At long last, the Bruins cash in on one of those patented juicy rebounds by Reimer, with Bergeron firing a puck from the slot past Reimer’s glove side on the power play to cut the Leafs’ lead right in half.
The rebound came off a shot from Chara from the blue line.
Second period, 2-0 Maple Leafs: The second period is under way, with the B’s on the power play for 1:11.
End of first period, 2-0 Maple Leafs: The Bruins got another power play shortly after the goal when Leo Komarov left his feet to hit Daniel Paille. It was a suspect call, considering it was hardly the textbook example of charging, but Komarov nevertheless headed to the box (maybe it made up for Paille getting decked by O’Bryne early on).
With 49 seconds to work on the power play before the period ended, it didn’t go swimmingly for Boston. Seguin took far too long to set up a shot and missed wide from the left circle, and then a Chara wrister bounced off Kulemin’s skate and hit Lucic in the face. Lucic dripped blood on his way to the bench after the period, but otherwise looked OK. That is, of course, very easy for me to say. But with the way Lucic has resembled a thundering train this series, the Bruins would hate to see him slowed down by anything.
The B’s lead in shots 15-8, but the Leafs lead where it matters.
First period, 1:29, 2-0 Maple Leafs: The Bruins had turned the tables in terms of momentum, opening up a healthy lead in the shots department and controlling the puck.
But all that matters is goals, and the Leafs now have two of them.
Cody Franson sent a harmless wrister toward net, but it was timed perfectly, with Zdeno Chara skating in front of Rask as the puck sailed toward net. Rask never saw it, and the Leafs lead 2-0.
First period, 4:29, 1-0 Mape Leafs: The Bruins generate some good chances on the power play, forcing Reimer to make a few saves, and they get a golden opportunity just as the power play expired. David Krejci, at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, had an open net staring him in the face as the puck made its way toward him. Krejci’s shot deflected off the post. No goal, and the Leafs still lead 1-0.
First period, 7:17, 1-0 Maple Leafs: The Bruins will get the first power-play opportunity of the night, as Dion Phanuef gets called for tripping. It was a bad call, as Seguin had lifted his own leg as Phaneuf put a body check on him, but the Bruins catch a break and will get the first crack at the man advantage.
First period, 10:42, 1-0 Maple Leafs: James Reimer continues to be shaky with his rebound control, but he is on his game early on for the most part, with eight saves in the early going.
First period, 13:45, 1-0 Maple Leafs: Daniel Paille’s face is becoming a magnet for painful hits this series. He just took a stick up high by Ryan O’Byrne on an over-agressive body check, and O’Byrne followed through with a good ol’ punch to the face.
It being the playoffs and all, it didn’t warrant a penalty call, but Paille (or at least his face) probably thinks otherwise.
First period, 17:25, 1-0 Maple Leafs: Joffrey Lupul continues to be a thorn in the Bruins’ side.
He just dished to Phil Kessel, who carried the puck around the back of the Boston net and fed Lupul in front of the net for a pretty simple play to score the game’s first goal.
The already-deafening Air Canada Centre is sure to only get louder after that one, and the Bruins will be forced to work uphill to start the night. Definitely not the start they wanted.
The goal came just after Reimer gave up a big, juicy rebound on a low wrister from Jaromir Jagr, and Daniel Paille couldn’t sneak his shot past Reimer on the following shot. Quite the swing there.
First period, 20:00: The puck’s been dropped (Toronto won the draw) and the teams are under way in Toronto.
There is one lineup change: Clarke MacArthur is in for Ryan Hamilton.
7 p.m.: It looks as though neither team will make any changes to the lineups, based on warmups. We’re just five minutes or so from puck drop, so get ready to see which team cheats best on the opening faceoff!
6:40 p.m.: It’s time to get back to hockey.
After 45 hours or so of needless talk about “cheating” on faceoffs (seriously, is that the best controversy we can have here??), it’s just about time to finally drop the puck yet again in this first-round series between the Bruins and Maple Leafs.
If the Bruins win, it could be the knockout blow, and it would set them up to take care of business at home on Friday night.
If the Leafs win, it becomes anyone’s series, tied 2-2, with a guarantee of the series extending at least until Sunday.
Clearly, there’s a lot on the line in the 60 minutes of hockey this evening at the Air Canada Centre.
There aren’t supposed to be any lineup changes for the Bruins, but stick with the live blog for any pregame updates, and throughout the game as the B’s and Leafs battle it out in Toronto.