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Maple Leafs face crucial Game 4 against Bruins

by Mike G. Morreale


(Boston leads best-of-7 series 2-1)


Big story: The Boston Bruins regained home ice advantage on Monday with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre before 19,746 fans. Outside the arena, thousands more fans watched the first Stanley Cup Playoff game in Toronto since 2004 on a big screen in Maple Leaf Square.

The recipe for success for Boston was a relentless puck pursuit that forced 24 Toronto turnovers. Boston also outhit the Maple Leafs 51-48. Jaromir Jagr and Rich Peverley each notched their first points of the series -- Peverley's second-period goal was assisted by Jagr. Tuukka Rask made 45 saves, including 17 in the third period, and was named the game's first star. David Krejci, the second star, had a goal and two assists and finished with a plus-3 rating.

Team Scope:

Bruins: The line of Milan Lucic, Krejci and Nathan Horton combined for two goals and eight points in the Game 3 victory on Monday. The line has combined for five goals and 17 points in the series. Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference returned from his one-game suspension, and generated two shots, delivered three hits and blocked two shots in 22:07 of ice time.

"[Krejci] is a good player and maybe he does fly under the radar for a lot of people, but he certainly doesn’t fly under the radar for us," coach Claude Julien said. "He's very creative and, not only that, he doesn't get intimidated by physicality. He'll make plays and go into dirty areas and he's a playmaker. But he goes about his job quietly."

Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs managed a season-high 47 shots, but only had two goals to show for it as Rask shut the door time and again. The last home playoff win for Toronto came April 30, 2004 -- a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Defenseman Jake Gardiner scored his first career playoff goal and Phil Kessel scored his second goal of the series, but it wasn't enough.

"If we want to be blatantly honest, we made some mistakes that ended up in our net," coach Randy Carlyle said. "When you do that, usually you end up on the wrong side of the score. In the playoffs, you can't give the opposition (chances). I'm not taking it away from the Bruins, that they didn't earn it, but when you make mistakes with the puck that lead to Grade-A scoring chances and they score, those are tough ones for our group."

Who's hot: Krejci has two goals and seven points to lead all scorers in the postseason. Lucic has a five-game point-scoring streak and six assists in three playoff games. … Toronto's Kessel has scored twice in the past two games.

Injury report: Toronto defenseman Michael Kostka (broken finger) is out indefinitely.

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