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Toronto Maple Leafs bounce back big against the Boston Bruins

16 April 2019

The Leafs learned less than an hour before puck drop that Nazem Kadri has been suspended for the rest of the series for the centre's vicious cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Game 2.

"I thought it was clean", Cassidy said. Both power plays produced (two of Toronto's three goals in the second period; one of Boston's two), and Matthews was able to make his presence felt with his first goal and his first assist of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. "That's one of those unwritten rule hits that you don't throw, especially to a guy that's played 20 f-ing years in the National Hockey League".

Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle scored during a raucous first period as the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday to even their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. Things won't come easy for the Bruins in this one though as they have struggled to find a way to win in recent trips to Toronto as they are 2-7 in their last 9 trips to the Ontario capital and they are just 1-5 in their last 6 playoff games as an underdog which are two trends favoring the Buds in this one.

The Leafs got another power-play chance six minutes later and buried that one, too.

"Now we've got to do something about that".

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The fourth line produced the first goal of the game, with Trevor Moore finding the net early in the second period. Last year, the Maple Leafs also saw their 4-1 lead in Game 7 crumble, leading to their elimination.

But the Bruins quickly reminded the Leafs why they finished ahead of them in the Atlantic Division race when Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin took a holding penalty late in the period. He could receive a suspension of five games or more.

Andersen - by far the best Leaf - robbed Heinen with an exceptional glove save before Rask made a toe stop on Andreas Johnsson at the other end. DeBrusk and Krug will play tonight, but Clifton will be in the press box with Steven Kampfer taking his spot on the third pair.

Despite their subpar statistics, that team was able to win games 3, 5, and 6 to push the series to seven games, and very almost took the series and moved on.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock switched up his top two lines and mixed his defence pairings looking for a spark. You're physical. Win the puck battles.

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Kadri, who was banned three games in last year's first-round series against the Bruins following an ugly boarding penalty, scored for Toronto four minutes before the final incident with DeBrusk that resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct. As the Leafs trailed 3-1 to the Bruins, Kadri sought out DeBrusk after he delivered a hit on Patrick Marleau, then Kadri delivered a cross-check to the winger's face.

The NHL's department of public safety tweeted it had offered Kadri an in-person hearing. It would stink, it would be worthy of criticism, but you move on and bring him back next season without thinking twice about it.

Babcock's options as replacements for his third-line centre include Marleau and William Nylander, but neither scenario is ideal.

At the end of Game 2, the statistics reflected Boston's domination.

Game 3 of the tied series goes Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.

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Mar 13, 2015 Missed 3 games (disciplinary).

Toronto Maple Leafs bounce back big against the Boston Bruins