Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs in Game 3 of the first round.
GOLD STAR: Auston Matthews hasn’t been a big difference-maker in the postseason match-ups against the Bruins, but he was a factor on special teams in the Game 3 win over the Black and Gold. It was Matthews that scored a power play strike from a wide open spot in the face-off circle for one Leafs PP goal and then he notched the secondary assist on the second one as Boston’s penalty kill was scrambling in the defensive zone and out of position. Matthews finished with a goal and two points in 19:34 of ice time and had seven shot attempts, including four shots on net, and threw a couple of hits as well. Matthews wasn’t big of a hit during 5-on-5 play against the David Krejci line doing a solid job of holding them down, but it sure looked like special teams were starting to get his postseason game going.
BLACK EYE: Just one assist in three games during this series for David Pastrnak, who is a long way from the 13 points he put up last spring during the first round vs. the Maple Leafs while almost single-handedly blowing them up. This time around he’s got zero goals, 10 shots on net in three games and he looked on Monday night like he was a step slow while turning a lot of pucks over along with the rest of his line. It might be time for the B’s to break up that top line if it continues this way because right now it looks like the John Tavares line and the Jake Muzzin defense pairing are doing an excellent job of bottling up and frustrating Boston’s top offensive players.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a decent first period where they outshot the Leafs, controlled play for stretches and seemed to withstand the first big flurry from the Maple Leafs on home ice. But the second period was where things went sideways for them as the Bruins allowed three goals, including a pair of PP goals with the top PK duo of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the ice, and really lost the special teams battle that they usually win against most teams. In all the Leafs rang up 16 shots on goal while building up that lead and then they actually played pretty strong defense to hold things down in the final 20 minutes against the B’s. But the game was won, or lost, in the second period.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Coyle was probably the best player on the ice for the Bruins once again as he scored a PP goal at the end of the second period to pull within a single score, and once again had Boston’s best line while centering David Backes and Danton Heinen. Coyle finished with the goal and five shot attempts to go along with three hits in 17:17 of ice time, and now has two goals in the first three games of the series while Boston’s heralded top line really hasn’t done much to this point in the series. While it’s great that Coyle and Co. are showing all kinds of life with the third line, it’s not a good sign for the B’s if they are consistently Boston’s best line during these games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 44 – the percentage of face-offs won for the Bruins as they lost 35 of 63 draws and didn’t have a single player that won more than half of his face-off chances in Monday night’s Game 3 loss.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s two good lines going head-to-head. It’s going to tilt our way at some point. Our players are too good.” –Bruce Cassidy, talking about the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak eventually breaking through offensively after a slow start to the series.
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