The Toronto Maple Leafs put up a big effort in the second period of Game 3 to regain their advantage in the series over the Boston Bruins.
Returning home, the Maple Leafs received a great reception from Leafs Nation and used that energy to get off to a strong start but Boston had a good response. Trevor Moore got the Buds on the board with his first career playoff goal rewarding the fourth line after a couple of strong shifts in the offensive zone.
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Unfortunately, the Bruins responded and the Leafs were caught running around a bit in their own end until David Backes took a penalty which was a welcomed sight after a rough Game 2 for the officials. It was at that point where Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson took control with two big goals to put the Leafs ahead.
Give Boston credit, they did everything they could to try and find an equalizer but Frederik Andersen was sharp from start to finish.
Of course, the big hero of the game was Mitch Marner who made his presence known with crucial defensive plays including a hit on Brad Marchand and two blocks in the dying seconds of the game. You got the sense in the team’s post-game celebration that the Leafs were glad to get out of that one after some close moments.
Another player who deserves some credit is Nikita Zaitsev because as much as he’s made some rough blunders with the puck, he made a couple of crucial plays in front of the net to save a couple of goals. If he doesn’t do that, the Leafs might not have come out on top but they did and that’s what matters.
The team clearly has momentum and need to keep it going because without Kadri in the lineup it won’t get any easier. The Leafs might actually want to reconsider that third line with William Nylander, Patrick Marleau and Connor Brown because that unit was having a tough time.
What did you think of the game? Can the Leafs continue the momentum heading into Game 4? Let us know in the comments below.