The Leafs were pushed to the brink of Round One elimination on Thursday, falling 3-1 to the Boston Bruins in Game 4. Toronto missed a glorious chance to even the series as Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron missed the game with an upper-body injury. Despite the Leafs holding the edge in shots on goal (32-21) and shot attempts (77-40), defensive miscues proved to be the team’s undoing.
- Tomas Plekanec registered his first career goal as a Maple Leaf.
- With an assist on Plekanec’s goal, Mitch Marner extended his point streak to three games (one goal, 4 assists).
- Marner was given a terrific scoring opportunity on a breakaway in the second period after receiving a stretch pass from Morgan Rielly.
- Frederik Andersen surrendered a bad goal on the opening shift, just 28 seconds into the game. Torey Krug’s shot from the left point eluded the netminder, forcing the Leafs to come from behind early. “I saw it initially but on the way in I lost it through the guys there. It’s one I’ve got to fight to see and get something in front of,” Andersen said.
- Despite playing 20:32, Auston Matthews was held pointless for the third time in four games, and has collected just one point – a goal – during the entire series.
- Coach Mike Babcock said of Matthews “I think the great thing about playoff time and being a young guy is that you get lots of lessons and no one is more aware of this than he is, I can tell you that right now. I’m assuming that he thought he was going to come tonight and dominate the game. That’s what I thought. I thought the same with [Nylander]. That didn’t happen.”
- The opportunistic Bruins capitalized on a pair of awful plays by the Leafs defence, ultimately deciding the game. In the second period, Jake Gardiner made a bad pinch that resulted in a two-on-one break ending in a goal by Brad Marchand, assisted by David Pastrnak.
- In the third period, Travis Dermott had his shot blocked by David Krejci, who led a counter attack that ended up in the Leafs net, courtesy of Jake DeBrusk, on another Bruins’ two-on-one.
- Ron Hainsey said “They got two odd-man rushes and their great players made the plays that make you pay when they got those opportunities.”