Bruins have Maple Leafs unsettled on the ropes


It's not fair Jeremy Swayman Casting doubt on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For the second straight 12 months, the Bruins return to Boston with a 3-1 lead. Unlike last 12 months, after they faced a gritty Florida Panthers team with nothing to lose, this 12 months the Bruins might be heading right into a decisive win against a team with little or no confidence.

The opportunistic Bruins benefited from Toronto's turnovers and undisciplined play. Thanks to James van Riemsdyk's goal in the primary frame, they scored first for the third time within the series. A pinch-hit Mason Lohrei forced Boston's Ryan Reaves right into a fumble, putting van Riemsdyk in position to attain his first goal since February seventeenth.

After Max Domi's embarrassing crosscheck to David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand wrote his name into the franchise's record books. The Boston captain fired a one-timer past Ilya Samsonov at 8:20 of the center stanza for the 56th playoff goal of his profession.

Marchand scored one other sure-fire goal in the ultimate ticks of the second period, beating TJ Brodie with a loose puck within the slot before finding Pastrnak, who accomplished a 2-on-0 sequence.

While Auston Matthews was nursing a nagging illness, Mitch Marner showed a small sign of life at 5:43 of the third period after cycling around Boston's D in his first playoff game. The Leafs gave the Bruins trouble a number of shifts later, just for William Nylander to call one other ill-advised penalty within the offensive zone.

The Bruins held the Leafs at bay in the ultimate half of the third period and secured their 3-1 victory in front of an indignant crowd at Scotiabank Arena.

Here's what we learned from Boston's convincing triumph in Game 4.

The Bruins had their most complete performance of the series.

After two spectacular games, the Bruins decided to finish their goaltending rotation with Swayman and Linus Ullmark.

Entering Game 4, Swayman had a 5-0 record and a .957 save percentage against the Leafs this season. Despite his supernatural success, the Bruins did not record an entire 200-foot attempt in the primary three games.

That trend modified on Saturday.

The Bruins established many layers in the course of the ice and had only a few odd-man rushes and limited secondary scoring. Swayman didn't face any significant traffic, but provided good enough support within the third period when his teammates were caught passing a number of times during Toronto's third-period pushback.

“I just wanted to do my job. I just wanted to finish,” Swayman told NESN’s Adam Pellerin after watching his teammates stop 26 shots that night. “There are 23 people in there who do their job with absolute excellence. I just wanted to be part of something special.”

The Bruins didn't need to make any special efforts. All that they had to do was maintain a straightforward but effective approach.

Jim Montgomery's club benefited from ball losses, allowing van Riemsdyk to take a two-month break. They capitalized on mental errors within the second period, resulting in Marchand reaching one other milestone together with his power play and later finding Pastrnak, who provided more separation on the scoreboard.

“This time of year you have to have the desire to be a part of it and make a difference,” Marchand told reporters. “We seem to have that in the group right now. Everyone has the confidence and belief in themselves that they will do their job and execute the pieces that are in front of them.”

The mood is clearly different on each benches.

The Bruins supported one another in all areas of the ice, leaving them only one game away from advancing to Round 2. Conversely, the Leafs desperately need even the slightest little bit of confidence heading into Game 5.

Frederic's tally within the second period of Game 3 modified the tide of the series. Instead of analyzing the various mishaps that followed that Game 3 setback, head coach Sheldon Keefe and the remaining of the Leafs focused on providing anecdotes about Marchand's exchanges with former teammate Tyler Bertuzzi and clarifying whether Swayman was following his altercation with Domi in Toronto's Beheading was or was not.

Little did they know that Marchand or Swayman can be the least of their problems.

The Leafs were visibly frustrated after Marchand's record. Nylander and Matthews became indignant and boisterous on the bench, presumably questioning Marner's efforts as he slammed his gloves in disgust. A passionate fan base with little to cheer about had booed their team out of the constructing after Pastrnak prolonged Boston's result in 3-0.

Matthews didn’t return for the ultimate 20. The Leafs also replaced the struggling Samsonov with former Boston College goaltender Joseph Woll.

Marner looked as if it would have gotten out of his rut, only to see Nylander head-scratching Jake DeBrusk in his first appearance of the postseason, just because the Leafs appeared to have gotten back into the swing of things.

With one other two days between games, the Leafs will face much more questions from an aggressive media in Toronto about their mental state heading into the must-win fifth game. That's not a development a team desires to see, let alone one which has only won one round of the playoffs with a core that features Nylander, Matthews, Marner, Morgan Rielly and John Tavares.

The Bruins are heading into their second straight postseason with a probability to win their first-round series in five games. After last 12 months's defeat against Florida, they may approach this 12 months's situation with a level-headed but confident approach.

“We are really looking forward to coming back [home]Swayman said to Pellerin. “We are truly grateful to have the best fans in the entire NHL. We are determined to make it happen.”

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