NHL Playoffs: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins | Game 4 Preview

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Toronto, ON – The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins face off tonight in game four of their best-of-seven series, with the Bruins holding a two to 1 series lead. The series has been a physical close contested series, with over 100 hits per game and relatively low-scoring games. The Bruins found a way to answer the Leafs’ last game, while the Leafs’ special teams suffered. Tonight marks a new game though, and the Leafs will look to push past the Bruins with reinforcements looking likely for tonight.

  • TV: Sportsnet
  • Radio: Sportsnet 590 The Fan
  • Time: 8:00 PM ET

Last Game:

Last game was a close and back-and-forth game with the Bruins ultimately winning the game 4-2. Swarman continued his steady play against the Leafs, only allowing two goals on 30 shots. The game didn’t see its first goal until just under seven minutes left in the second period when Matthew Knies finished on a great pass from Marner. The Bruins were able to tie the game before the second period ended thanks to Trent Frederic, on a play that left many Leafs fans questioning officials. Shortly after, the Leafs were given a powerplay, and once again weren’t able to capitalize, but this time the penalty was cut short when Tyler Bertuzzi received a roughing penalty. The Bruins’ powerplay carried out into the third period and DeBrusk was able to score with the man advantage giving the Bruins a lead. Bertuzzi then scored against his former team to tie things up at two, but less than a minute later, Bruins’ captain, Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead and ultimately the game-winning goal, and sealed the deal with an empty net goal. Ultimately the game was a close-fought game that saw the Bruins’ special teams perform at a higher rate than the Leafs.

Leafs to Keep an Eye on:

  • William Nylander looks like he will be making his playoff debut tonight, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Leafs have had some trouble breaking into the offensive zone, and have resorted to a dump-and-chase style of play that hasn’t been as effective. Nylander is the most skilled Leaf at carrying the puck into the zone and will look to add variety to the team’s offensive game. Nylander has had success in previous playoffs and will look to continue that tonight, staying engaged on both sides of the play.
  • TJ Brodie also looks to be making his playoff debut for this season as he has been taking line rushes with Joel Edmundson. Brodie has been a warrior in the past and played some solid defensive games while moving the puck out of his own end well. These are both things that the Leafs need in this series, but Brodie has had some challenges this season with consistency and will look to be a consistent and steady defender tonight. Liljegren has played hard this postseason so far and has shown development, but it appears the Leafs will opt to play the veteran Brodie over Liljegren.
  • Auston Matthews was feeling ill on Wednesday and ultimately skipped the morning skate to try and rest more. Matthews still played a competitive game while being responsible defensively and playing physically. Matthews appears to be in better health today and will look to recreate some of the results he had in game 2. Look for Matthews to continue doing what has been working for him this season, while not cheating for offense. Matthews is paid to be a game-breaker and will look to show that tonight as the Leafs try to even up the series.

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