Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov out for Game 3 against Bruins

Boston Bruins defenceman Matt Grzelcyk checks Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander RW during an NHL game on Feb. 25 2018

Boston Bruins defenceman Matt Grzelcyk checks Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander RW during an NHL game on Feb. 25 2018

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov will miss Game 3 against the Boston Bruins because of a lower-body injury. Partly because it had a hand in saving the Toronto Maple Leafs' season with a goal that stood as the eventual victor in Game 3 and helped cut his team's deficit in the series to 2-1.

It all started with head coach Mike Babcock giving his critics the bird in the morning. When Toronto swapped a second-round pick and a pair of prospects for Plekanec and minor-league forward Kyle Baun on February 25, the team expected to get a solid fourth-line centre with the potential that he could move up and succeed anywhere in the lineup if the need were to arise.

"That being said, we had our looks and good chances that we usually find a way on, but we have to bear down a little more". Also Patrice Bergeron had some good chances but was not able to score.

Bruins forward Brad Marchand agreed with his coach that he would like to see the league do more to prevent the wrong call being made.

"We were on it all game", Marleau said. "We talked about this a number of times, to be prepared for it".

"It just feels like an natural disaster in your feet when you score, especially in playoffs", Matthews said.

DENVER (AP) - Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, including one as part of a three-goal first period and another to chase Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne from the game, and Colorado pulled to 2-1 in the first-round series. Auston Matthews, dropping a "s-t happens" after Saturday's 7-3 beatdown, is still without a point and looking completely outmatched in a head-to-head with Bergeron. Jake Gardiner, who was downright disastrous in the opening two games of this series, came through with a noticeably stronger performance. While they were enthusiastic, there was a pensive air, as if the fans could not quite believe the Leafs were finally competing for pucks and using their speed to their advantage. This season, Plekanec's numbers against Bergeron's line have been solid - in 19:23 time on ice against them with Montreal, Plekanec gave up one goal against, while earning 53 per cent possession.

Between Tomas Plekanec delivering a positive return with Babcock's contentious decision to pit him against the Bergeron unit and Freddie Andersen's exquisite final frame, there are plenty of points to build on now, as the Maple Leafs aim to even up a series they seemed hopelessly overmatched in just a few hours ago.

Grzelcyk chases Mat Barzal of the New York Islanders on Jan. 2 2018
Grzelcyk chases Mat Barzal of the New York Islanders on Jan. 2 2018

Boston weathered the storm early and responded quite well with attacks of their own for most of the period.

The Leafs' defence, while improved, still had the habit of throwing pizzas across the middle of the defensive zone. He was forced into making creative saves through most of the game and did a great job keeping everything but the first two out.

Another big difference from the first two games was the special-teams play.

Power-play opportunities_Boston 0 of 1; Toronto 1 of 1.

Patrick Marleau had two goals, James van Riemsdyk also scored, and Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly added two assists each for the Maple Leafs.

Trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes, Boston tied it at 3:06 of the second when McQuaid's shot from the point squeezed under Andersen's pad and dribbled in.

The Leafs had a number of chances early as they returned to a boisterous home crowd before a controversial sequence led to the opening goal. Chara constantly leads by example both on and off the ice, and Monday night was another example of just how valuable and important the captain is to the Boston Bruins. Matthews put the Leafs ahead 3-2 with 5:13 to play before the third on his top-shelf wrister from the left circle. It was his first goal of the series.

The Leafs came out hard with some jump early in the first period.




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