Bruins force Game 7 on strength of power play, dominant second period

Evan Marinofsky
April 21, 2019 - 6:06 pm

The Boston Bruins came out like dogs on raw meat in the second period, and that effort helped lift them to a 4-2 win to tie the series 3-3 and force a Game 7. 

Already ahead 2-1, the Bruins completely controlled play in the middle 20 minutes of the game. Jake DeBrusk got his first goal of the series on a criss-cross play with David Krejci to extend the lead to 3-1. 

Even though the Bruins only had one goal to show from the second, it was their best period of the series to that point. They outshot the Leafs 16-9 and played in Toronto's end for the majority of the period. 

For the first time since Game 2, the Bruins skated hard. 

Despite the result, the Maple Leafs actually kicked off the scoring in the first period with a Morgan Rielly wrist shot that Tuukka Rask never saw. The Bruins took a second to look at the play for potential goaltender interference and offsides, but opted to let the goal stand. That made things 1-0 Leafs. 

Shortly after, the Bruins responded with one of their own -- one that came from a dormant first power play unit. Off a Patrice Bergeron faceoff win, Brad Marchand surprised Andersen with a quick shot that slipped through his legs to tie it 1-1. 

The first power play unit for the Bruins wasn't done there. About six minutes later, Torey Krug fired a one-timer past Andersen's left arm to make it 2-1. 

It was Krug's first goal of the playoffs. 

The Leafs got themselves on the board in the middle of the third period when Auston Matthews put one top shelf over the shoulder of Rask to make it 3-2. 

For the final 10 minutes, the Maple Leafs spent their time in the Bruins defensive zone with an all-out push. But their scoring chances were to no avail, as Brad Marchand closed it out with an empty-netter. 

Rask finished with 22 saves on 24 shots. For Andersen it was 37 saves on 40 shots. 

A popular storyline throughout the game was the poor refereeing. It started early in the first period when Zdeno Chara got sent to the sin bin for delay of game, however the Bruins argued the puck landed in their bench and had the puck to show for it. 

The most egregious call of the game was a high stick call against Joakim Nordstrom, which was only a high stick because he had been slew-footed by Travis Dermott. In the second, Charlie Coyle got sent to the box for tripping after his stick brushed against Frederik Gauthier's shin pads while Gauthier was already going down.

Aside from the poor refereeing, the Bruins took advantage of the final 10 minutes of the first and the entire second period to win Game 6 despite a huge push from the Leafs in the final 20. 

Game 7 is Tuesday night at TD Garden.

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Related: Cassidy: Bruins were doing ‘too much thinking, not enough frickin’ playing’