GOLD STAR: The old man came through for the Maple Leafs on a night when somebody had to step up for Toronto. It was Patrick Marleau, who scored a couple of goals and had four hits in his 15:44 of ice time while matching up much better on a line combo with Mitch Marner and newly installed center Tomas Plekanec. It was Marleau that beat younger, faster Torey Krug to the spot for his first goal in the second period when the B’s and Leafs were going back and forth. Then it was Marleau snapping one off past Tuukka Rask to the top corner in the third period to cinch the game with just a couple of minutes left in regulation. Toronto certainly needed something like that from him as they still don’t have their young guns really firing on all cylinders quite yet. But the Leafs moved a step into that direction with the way they played at home on Monday night.
BLACK EYE: Torey Krug and Kevan Miller weren’t very good. They got caught a number of times on the stretch passes that Toronto uses for their attack with speed, and then they got hemmed in with the Patrice Bergeron line on the ultimate game-winner for Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs in the second period. Miller had a couple of giveaways and really didn’t make a strong play on the up-quick from Morgan Rielly that turned into a 2-on-1 with Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau. Krug got beaten to the spot by one of the oldest guys on the ice. Both Miller and Krug finished the night with a minus-3 rating, and it looked like more of the same from a player in Krug that was a minus-7 over the last two regular seasons against the Leafs.
TURNING POINT: Clearly the big turning point for the Bruins arrived in the first period when the refs simply blew a penalty call, and basically handed a power play goal to the Toronto. Riley Nash flipped a puck off the glass and then over the glass, and it should have never been a delay of game penalty call. Instead the refs made no penalty call at first, huddled over it and then whistled Nash for delay of game despite the fact that all of them were clearly guessing about the wrong call. Amazingly it took until the third period for the makeup call that would give the Bruins their own power play when one might have assumed that would have come in the second period when they knew they screwed up. Either way, Toronto getting spotted a one-goal lead in the first period turned out to be a pretty substantial development in a close playoff game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Frederik Andersen had the weirdest damn day, but you really have to give him credit where it’s due when Game 3 was all over. The Leafs goalie made 18 saves in the third period including at least three show-stopping saves on David Pastrnak alone when he was around the net, and made the best one on a power play chance with No. 88 looking at plenty of net to shoot at. Somehow Andersen got his stick on a puck that looked destined for the back of the net. That was after Andersen made a couple more saves on Pastrnak earlier in the third period when it was still just a one-goal game, and the Bruins top line was throwing everything they could at the net. Andersen ended up stopping 40-of-42 shots, but did allow two soft goals early on an Adam McQuaid long distance bomb and a Zdeno Chara odd-angle shot that he put under the bar.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of goals for Auston Matthews in the playoff series after he finally struck for the game-winner in the second period, and then celebrated like he might never score in the postseason again.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You see it happens in your life as well. One day you have a great day. The next day you wake up and it's an absolutely [expletive] day. It happens, you know?" –David Pastrnak, taking the Zen approach to a Game 3 loss after getting robbed by Frederik Andersen a couple of times in the third period.