Sports

Matthews, Johnsson lead Maple Leafs to Game 3 win over Bruins

Matthews, Johnsson lead Maple Leafs to Game 3 win over Bruins

Game 3 of the series is Monday night, with the Bruins and Leafs tied at 1-all. Matthews and Andreas Johnsson scored the other goals, both on the power play. Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots, while Marchand added an assist. Last year, the Maple Leafs also saw their 4-1 lead in Game 7 crumble, leading to their elimination. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Toronto.

The retired National Hockey League winger and notorious on-ice instigator weighed in on Saturday night's incident involving Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. "They upped their compete level".

If Mike Babcock had made a decision to award the opportunity by merit, it likely wouldn't have been Johnsson stepping in Kadri's pivot role on the power play he helped unlock after an 0-for-4 start. Boston has scored just five goals in their first two games of this series, but they have still averaged a solid 3.80 gpg over their last 10 games. As Kadri exited the penalty box and attempted to rejoin play, DeBrusk appeared to try to lay a body check on the Leafs' center but instead hit him knee-on-knee. Toronto will need their goaltender to stay strong if they want a shot at retaking the series lead and with most of the bounces seemingly going in the favor of the Bruins in Game 2 look for that to even out a bit even though we can also expect a bit of a regression in Andersen's play in this one.

"That's what you've got to do to win", said Babcock.

"That f-ing hit DeBrusk just threw on Patrick Marleau in the Leafs-Bruins game was a dirty f-ing hit", Avery said in a series of videos posted to his Instagram story.

With two pucks placed perfectly, perhaps then the opportunity to serve as the axis point between the four most talented players on the roster was all the motivation Johnsson needed to rediscover his game at the precise moment for the Maple Leafs.

More news: Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz in Game 1

The NHL, if it so decides, could levy a suspension of six games or more considering the hearing is not being done by phone.

The refereeing of Brad Meier and Trevor Hanson in Game 2 wasn't exactly brilliant, for either the Leafs or the Bruins, and Babcock had an interesting answer when asked whether he was surprised with what was not called during the game.

The latest incident occurred at 14:01 of the third period Saturday. His inability to control his emotions may have prevented him from playing that role, and may ultimately provide him a one-way ticket out of town. You have to own your play, you have to own your discipline, you have to own what's going on. That means a maximum five-game ban for Kadri.

The Leafs knew the Bruins wouldn't wave any white flags in the third, but Toronto gave as good as they got - and when it came down to brass tacks, Andersen was superb, keeping the Bruins off the scoresheet in the final frame.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs present a very fine line between justified criticism of a player or team, and diving head-first into hot-takery and irrational overreactions.

"They had a push and we weren't really ready for it", Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin said after the game in the visitors locker-room at TD Garden.