(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs suffered a lopsided loss in their
first home playoff game in nine years the last time out, but they'll have a
chance to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals when they host the Boston
Bruins in Game 4 at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.
Toronto is in the postseason for the first time since 2004 and after splitting
a pair of games in Boston to begin the series, the fifth-seeded Maple Leafs
dropped a 5-2 decision in Monday's home clash.
The fourth-seeded Bruins, meanwhile, used tremendous outings from goaltender
Tuukka Rask and forward David Krejci to regain a 2-1 lead in this best-of-
seven series. Boston won Game 1 by a 4-1 score before allowing Toronto to tie
the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 decision in the second contest.
Rask made 46 stops and Krejci posted a goal and two assists to lead the Bruins
to the Game 3 victory. Nathan Horton added a goal and an assist while Daniel
Paille, Rich Peverley and Adam McQuaid also scored for the Bruins.
"I think, as a team, we played a good road game," Krejci said. "Maybe we
didn't have as many chances in Game 1, but I think it was a perfect road game
and I'm pretty happy about that."
If the Bruins can win again on Wednesday it will set up a potential series-
clinching Game 5 on Friday in Boston. Including Monday's game, the Bruins, who
were 12-9-3 on the road this season, have won five of their last six games in
Monday's tilt was the first playoff game staged at Air Canada Centre since May
4, 2004, when Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick scored in overtime to lift the
Flyers to a series-clinching victory in Game 6 of the conference semifinals.
Although the home crowd was raucous for its first taste of postseason hockey
in quite some time, the atmosphere wasn't enough to give Toronto an edge in
Jake Gardiner and Phil Kessel had the goals for the Maple Leafs, while James
Reimer gave up four goals on 37 shots in the loss.
"We made some mistakes that ended up in our net and when you do that you end
up on the wrong side of the score," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle.
"I'm not taking away from them because they earned it, but we gave them some
grade A scoring chances and they took advantage."
Toronto lost despite going 2-for-5 on the power play and killing off all three
of Boston's chances with the man advantage. The Bruins are 1-for-9 on the
power play in this series and the Leafs are 4-for-12.
The Maple Leafs, who lost their last two home games of the regular season,
were 13-9-2 as the host in 2013.
This is the 14th time these Original Six teams have met in the playoffs, but
the first since 1974, when Boston swept Toronto in the opening round.
The Sports Network