Toronto at Boston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 21, 2018
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The last time Original Six rivals Boston and Toronto met in the postseason, the Bruins needed a miraculous comeback in the final minutes of Game 7 before ousting the Maple Leafs in overtime. Five years later, Toronto is in position of needing a miracle comeback of its own, trailing the Eastern Conference best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Saturday's Game 5 at Boston's TD Garden.
The Maple Leafs can look to the past for inspiration -- they also trailed the series 3-1 in 2013 before blowing a two-goal lead in the final 90 seconds of Game 7 -- but they are lamenting a missed opportunity in Thursday's 3-1 setback against a Bruins team missing its top-line center. "When (Patrice) Bergeron didn’t play tonight, you’re set up pretty good," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "You’ve got to find a way to win. This is in our building. You’ve got to win." Bergeron skated on his own Friday, which was called a "positive" by coach Bruce Cassidy, who said he will make a decision on the four-time Selke Trophy winner's status at Saturday's morning skate. Bergeron's line accounted for 20 points in the first two games at TD Garden as Boston steamrolled Toronto by a combined 12-4 margin. TV:
8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS (Toronto)ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS:
Toronto will receive a boost with the return of center Nazem Kadri, a 32-goal scorer during the regular season who received a three-game suspension for a dangerous hit on Boston's Tommy Wingels in the series opener. “It’s exciting to get back in,” Kadri said. “I’ve been champing at the bit the last couple of games here. It has been hard to watch knowing you could be out there trying to help and trying to make an impact. I’m just happy the time has come.” Kadri's return will mean a demotion for Tomas Plekanec, who scored the team's only goal Thursday -- his first since he was acquired from Montreal.ABOUT THE BRUINS:
Bergeron, who is up for his fifth Selke Trophy as the game's best defensive forward, collected five assists in the first two games, but with Riley Nash taking his place, Brad Marchand scored a goal and David Pastrnak continued his brilliant play with two assists to bump his series point total up to 11. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has been overshadowed by the offensive exploits through much of the series but he answered the bell in Game 4 by turning aside 31 of 32 shots in what Marchand termed a "phenomenal game. He’s one of the best goalies in the world and he gives us an opportunity to win every night.”OVERTIME
1. Maple Leafs F Auston Matthews has been held off the scoresheet in three of the four games.
2. Marchand has four goals and 10 points in seven matchups versus Toronto this season.
3. Maple Leafs F Leo Komarov skated Thursday but has missed the past two games.PREDICTION:
Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 2
Stats and Records