Bruins at Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are making back-to-back appearances in the postseason for the first time in 14 years but they appear headed for a second straight first-round exit barring a stunning turnaround. Toronto has been manhandled in its Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Bruins and hopes a return home to Air Canada Centre will get it back on track in Monday night's Game 3.
The Maple Leafs set franchise records for wins (49) and points (105) in a season but they have been completely overmatched by Original Six rival Boston, which breezed to a 5-1 win in the series opener before scoring four times in the opening period in a 7-3 demolition in Game 2. "Obviously, they're dominating us," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "It obviously hasn't gone the way we want it, we've given up 12 goals in two games, so we've got to go get some home cooking tomorrow, and come back and pull like we can, because we're a way better team than what we showed." Boston's No. 1 line was expected to be a difficult test for the Maple Leafs and the least heralded member of the unit has turned it into a complete mismatch. David Pastrnak eclipsed a record held by Wayne Gretzky by becoming the youngest player to register a six-point game in the postseason after a three-goal, three-assist masterpiece in Game 2.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, NESN (Boston), CBC, TVAS (Toronto)
ABOUT THE BRUINS: Center Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand form the other two-thirds of Boston's top line and each collected four assists in Saturday's romp, but Pastrnak has been the driving force in helping the unit amass a staggering 20 points in the first two games. "A lot of people in Boston already know how good he is," Bergeron said of Pastrnak, who scored 35 goals in the regular season. "I think people on the outside are getting to know." Defenseman Torey Krug collected all three of his assists in the first-period outburst Saturday to give him five for the series.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS: Toronto has concerns from one end of the ice to the other, but the biggest are the lack of productivity of its own No. 1 line and the suddenly shaky play of netminder Frederik Andersen, who was yanked in Game 2 after surrendering three goals on five shots. "You've got to give your goalie a chance to be good and we haven't done that," Babcock said Sunday. "Freddy's our guy and he'll be back tomorrow." With Nazem Kadri serving a three-game suspension, the pressure is even greater on Auston Matthews and the top line, which has yet to score a point.
1. Pastrnak tied former Bruin Phil Esposito (1969) for the most points in the first two games of a postseason with nine.
2. Maple Leafs F Leo Komarov (lower body) was hurt in Game 2 and his status is unclear for Monday.
3. Boston has converted on 5 of 10 power-play chances in the first two games.