Final 2-1 Maple Leafs: No miracle for the Bruins. Game over. See you Monday night in Boston for Game 7.
Third period, 25.5 seconds, 2-1 Maple Leafs: With the goalie pulled, after a dozen or so passes, Jagr passed to Lucic, and he redirected it past Reimer to give the Bruins some hope in the final minute.
Third period, 1:37, 2-0 Maple Leafs: We’re in pull-Tuukka mode.
Third period, 2:56, 2-0 Maple Leafs: Play goes on without a whistle for a ridiculously long stretch, which works to the Maple Leafs’ benefit. Every second off the clock is another when the Bruins are scoreless, and time is really running out on any hope of a comeback.
The Bruins just had it taken to them tonight. They entered the third period in a scoreless tie, and the Leafs steamrolled them. The Leafs deserve loads of credit, to be sure, but if you’re looking at this from a Boston perspective, you have to be disappointed with the effort level. It wasn’t that the Bruins weren’t trying, it’s just that they were out-hustled, out-hit and out-everythinged by the Leafs. Confidence won’t exactly be soaring heading into tomorrow night’s Game 7.
Third period, 11:01, 2-0 Maple Leafs: It just had to be Phil Kessel, didn’t it?
Kessel didn’t do anything too crazy there. He simply skated to the front of the net, where a loose puck was waiting for him. He put it to his backhand and flipped it past Rask, to give the Leafs what looks right now to be an insurmountable lead.
Third period, 13:01, 1-0 Maple Leafs: The Bruins have woken up a bit after the goal, with Seguin just getting a decent bid from the doorstep. Still, the Leafs got a great chance of their own with Kessel and Kadri on a 2-on-1 after Seidenberg got caught up ice. With the way the Air Canada Centre is buzzing, a second Toronto goal might create a hole too deep for the Bruins to climb out of. Boston really needs a goal.
Third period, 18:12, 1-0 Maple Leafs: And Toronto strikes first.
Nazem Kadri creates his own space in the high slot and uses the big body of Adam McQuaid as a screen. As Rask tried to look around McQuaid, Kadri shot toward net. The puck hit Phaneuf’s leg and went in for the first goal of the night. To say it was a huge goal would be a major understatement.
Third period, 20:00, 0-0: Twenty minutes to go … for now. It’ll take a goal or two for this one to end after the third period, and as you know by now, those goals haven’t been coming easily.
Colborne Vs. Bergeron on that opening faceoff, and Bergeron wins it.
End of second period, 0-0: It’s going to come down to the final 20 minutes. Of course it is.
It’s still scoreless thanks to another brilliant glove save by Rask. This one came off a one-time blast by Phaneuf at the top of the right faceoff circle. The camera behind the net showed Rask pointing to an open Phaneuf before the play developed, which helped him prepare before the lunged right to left and made the glove save up at ear level.
Still, it’s the Leafs who have been the better team through 40 minutes, but as has been clear throughout this series, that doesn’t always determine a winner. The hard work is there on both sides, but a fortunate bounce or two may be necessary for the tie-breaking goal once the third period begins.
Second period, 4:11, 0-0: Still scoreless, though Phil Kessel nearly changed that with a hard shot from the top of the right faceoff circle to the far-side post. He may have beaten Rask, but he missed wide in one of the closest chances thus far.
Boston leads in shots 16-11 but the Leafs are doing a better job of getting the puck in front of the net and creating opportunities. The Bruins haven’t been bad, but the Leafs have definitely been better.
Second period, 7:56, 0-0: The Leafs are winning the physical battle, emphasized by Ryan O’Bryne’s huge hit on Chris Kelly, who’s going to be sore tomorrow. Two Maple Leafs have been credited with five hits, and three have been credited with four hits. Zdeno Chara is the only Bruin credited with four hits.
The hits stats don’t always tell the whole story but they accurately paint the picture of tonight’s game.
Second period, 11:39, 0-0: And now Rask comes up with a big save, this one a glove save on a 40-foot snap shot from Kessel. The fact that Kessel seemingly only takes 40-foot snap shots probably helps goalies prepare, but that was still a nifty glove save.
Second period, 13:49, 0-0: The Bruins get their first big scoring opportunity of the night, with Patrice Bergeron taking a loose puck around the net and attempting a wraparound on his backhand. Reimer made a great effort to dive across the crease and make a stick save, and the game remains scoreless. It was the first crack in the Toronto defense of the night, but Reimer made up for it.
Second period, 15:19, 0-0: Much like the first, the second period has brought a lot of careful hockey. The only shuts thus far have been from the outside or the blue line. It’s going to be tough to get a goal tonight, with both sides in lockdown mode defensively.
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: The second period is under way in Toronto.
End of first period, 0-0: At the end of 20 minutes, what do we know now that we didn’t know beforehand? Not much.
Both teams played with intensity yet very carefully, so as not to give up any prime scoring opportunities for the opponent. Shots were pretty low, compared to the rest of the series, with the Bruins getting eight pucks on net and the Leafs forcing Rask to make seven saves. The Bruins’ power play is 0-for-2, the Leafs’ 0-for-1.
The physicality is right where it’s been from Game 1, which is to say bodies are flying. I get the sense that the first goal in this game is going to come from gritty hard work.
First period, 2:08, 0-0: The Leafs sustain a lot of pressure for about 80 seconds of that power play, but they won’t get their final 40 seconds, thanks to James van Riemsdyk diving into Tuukka Rask after light contact from Zdeno Chara. Van Riemsdyk has been a less-than-honest player this series, and the refs have no doubt taken notice.
First period, 3:32, 0-0: The Leafs will get their first power play opportunity, and it’s something they need. They have just four shots on net through 16:28, so this might be what they need to get their offense started.
The Bruins had themselves a solid offensive opportunity, as Seguin carried the puck into the zone with Bergeron and Marchand on a 3-on-2. With no passing lane, Seguin elected to rip a shot toward net, but he missed high and wide to Reimer’s glove side. That just can’t happen — not against a goalie who gives up as many rebounds as Reimer. At least get it on net, and if you don’t score, Marchand or Bergeron might be there to score on the rebound. Miss wide, and nothing happens.
Either way, McQuaid goes to the box for interference. Big moment for both teams here.
First period,10:48, 0-0: Daniel Paille is a lucky man, as Leo Komarov’s skate nearly sliced open the B’s winger as Komarov fell to the ice. The blade did appear to get Paille a bit in the neck area, but he got fixed on the bench and didn’t even miss a shift. Think he wants to win tonight?
Also, it took eight minutes for Shawn Thornton to get his first shift, but when he did, he created a pretty solid scoring chance. He skated behind the net and curled at the right dot, firing a wrister on net with Campbell screening in front. Campbell got a whack at a rebound, but Reimer was able to cover up.
First period, 15:42, 0-0: Not a good power play for Boston. Milan Lucic tried to send a pass from behind the goal line across to Tyler Seguin, but the pass was well off the mark. That was the only opportunity of the two minutes, as the Leafs were able to clear the zone three times.
First period, 17:48, 0-0: Early jitters for John-Michael Liles, who panicked a bit and backhanded the puck over the glass from his own defensive end. Two minutes for delay of game, and the Boston power play gets to work.
First period, 20:00: The first 10 minutes of this game might be the most important. We’ll see what happens, as this one’s now under way.
7:37 p.m.: How about this one — Joe Colborne will be in the lineup for Toronto tonight, in place of Tyler Bozak. That’s a big loss for the Leafs. Bozak missed time at the end of the season with a shoulder injury, and it was unknown entering the series whether he’d be able to take faceoffs. He was able, but not for long. Whether it was that injury that came back to nag him or if he suffered something knew isn’t known, but what is known is that the Leafs will insert the Bruins’ first-round pick from 2008 into the lineup. (The Bruins traded Colborne to Toronto in the Tomas Kaberle trade, in case you lost track.)
For the Bruins, it will indeed be Redden and Hamilton in, and Bartkowski out.
Puck drop within minutes now!
7:17 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups, it looks like both Wade Redden and Dougie Hamilton will be in the Game 6 lineup, paired as the third D pairing.
And it looks like, with Randy Carlyle and the Leafs having last change, Claude Julien is splitting up Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. That’s always a risky move, but Claude doesn’t want to get stuck with both of his best D-men on the bench when Phil Kessel is out there.
Official word will come soon, but that’s the word out of Toronto from warmups.
7 p.m.: There’s not much room left for error for the Boston Bruins, who are in Toronto tonight looking to put an end to this series and move on to the next round to face either the Rangers or Capitals. The Maple Leafs, who have put up a great fight all series long, are hoping to push this thing one more day.
Clearly, there’s a lot on the line, and this is not going to be easy for either team.
The Bruins will be without Andrew Ference for this one, which isn’t welcome news. They missed him in Game 2, when he was suspended for a high hit in Game 1 on Mikhail Grabovski, and the Bruins’ defense was a mess. And that’s putting it nicely. The Bruins lost 4-2, Dennis Seidenberg was a minus-3, and Phil Kessel scored the dagger goal on a breakaway.
Tonight, the Bruins have to choose Dougie Hamilton or Wade Redden. Hamilton didn’t have a bad night in Game 2 in his abbreviated ice time, while Redden missed Game 5 with some sort of ailment (they’re all undisclosed injuries this time of year, aren’t they?). There is the possibility the Bruins go with both Hamilton and Redden, while choosing to sit Matt Bartkowski, who played just 6:40 in Game 5. (Aaron Johnson is also in the mix, though he as to be considered on the periphery. He hasn’t played in quite some time, and throwing him into the middle of a heated series would be a risk.)
We’ll find out soon enough, when Claude submits his final lineups. We’ll have an update on that, plus live coverage throughout the game right here in the live blog, so check back throughout the night as the Bruins try to win and advance.