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Round 1 | Bruins vs. Maple Leafs

playoffs

Bruins can't get complacent ahead of Game 3 against Maple Leafs

Support for top line must continue as Boston looks for 3-0 series lead

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- It would be easy to stop looking past the top line of the Boston Bruins. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand have already combined for 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) for the Bruins, who lead the best-of-7 series against the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in the Eastern Conference First Round.

But the Bruins have other lines too. Lines that need to continue to produce. Lines that can't get complacent and sit back and watch as they head into Game 3 at Air Canada Centre on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, NESN).

"The rest of us, we to need make sure that we're not just saying, 'Well they're going to have another awesome night tonight,'" David Backes said. "If we're going to just sit back and wait for them to do it, if there's a night where they just don't have it, or they don't get a bounce or two, we need secondary scoring to step up and make sure we have that."

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]

 

So far, that's what has happened. The Bruins have goals from forwards David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Rick Nash, Backes, and defenseman Kevan Miller.

That can't stop. And center Riley Nash, who has been out since March 31 after taking a puck to the ear off the stick of Torey Krug, could return for Game 3, making the Bruins even deeper and more versatile.

"He's a 200-foot center that's played there and adds offense," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Noel [Acciari] is certainly a guy that can go in there, we're confident in. Different flavor, more physical. He doesn't distribute the puck as well as Riley.

"It just sort of sorts everything out for us a little better."

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm2: Rick Nash buries PPG to extend lead

The Bruins, unlike the Maple Leafs, opted early this season to keep their best three offensive players together, and each scored at least 30 goals. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, split their three 30-goal scorers (James van Riemsdyk, Auston Matthews, and Nazem Kadri) onto different lines, giving the team a semblance of depth.

But that depth hasn't really become apparent in this series.

The Bruins' has, even as the top line has dominated the headlines. That's something that needs to continue as Toronto tries to find a solution to stopping the Bergeron line.

"Clearly the Bergeron line is doing a lot of the damage, but all year, we won 50 games because of our support people," Cassidy said.

Video: Reaction to Leafs/Bruins Game 2, Pastrnak's big night

During the regular season, Boston did not have another player score more than 17 goals (Krejci) outside of the top line. But the Bruins did have eight players who scored at least 10 goals, including 16 from rookies DeBrusk and Danton Heinen and 10 from fourth-liner Acciari.

They will need all of that depth, all of that support, as they head into Toronto.

"We haven't been perfect, no question about it," Backes said. "Is the enemy of good, better, or great? That's debatable. But you want to keep your foot on the gas because this team has had success against us in the past and they've done a good job playing us, especially in their building. Complacency is probably the enemy at the moment, but we need to go start from the puck drop. It's a 0-0 game, and establish ourselves again."

That goes for the top line, and for the other lines, too.

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