The Boston Bruins take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of their quarterfinals series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Games 1 and 2 were lopsided victories for the Boston Bruins, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 and 7-3. But Toronto shifted the momentum back home in Game 3 to beat the Bruins 4-2 and hopes to use that to its advantage to gain footing back in the series. Momentum can be everything in the playoffs.
There’s no love lost between these franchises, so both teams will continue to have to contend with penalties and take advantage of those power plays. The Maple Leafs tend to struggle with power play opportunities — Boston has the edge there, scoring on 50 percent of chances. Whoever takes advantage of the power play has a good chance of winning the game.
The Bruins are going to have to do a better job defending Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau in Game 4. Matthews struggled in the first two games but looked back to form in Game 3, finally scoring a goal. Once he gets going he may be hard to keep off the board. Marleau scored twice in Game 3 and brings essential leadership to the team. They are both are a big part of why the Maple Leafs are not down three games in this series.
Toronto will use its speed and stretch plays like it did in Game 3. The Leafs will use a similar game plan to Game 3 as they try even up this series. The Bruins look to take the momentum back and keep the series lead.
In Game 3, there was a controversial blown call that helped the Maple Leafs get on the board first. Then they had control of the game the rest of the way. Both teams hope to play a clean game and limit time spent in the box.
Game 4 prediction: Maple Leafs beat Bruins, 4-2