Pair of third-period goals lift Maple Leafs to 3-2 series lead over Bruins

Evan Marinofsky
April 19, 2019 - 9:53 pm

It looked like this one was going to go all night. And then came the 8:27 mark of the third period when the Boston Bruins had their first defensive breakdown -- the first crucial one for either team. 

An Auston Matthews one-timer for the first goal of the game. Just like we all predicted. 

The Bruins challenged for goalie interference but after a very long review, the league kept it as originally called -- a goal for Matthews and a 1-0 lead for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Things then got pretty ugly for the Black and Gold. 

Off a clean breakout, Morgan Rielly took the puck up and dished it to Andreas Johnsson who sent it across for a wide open Kasperi Kapanen. And in went the puck to an open net. 

The Bruins had a slight push in the final minute when David Krejci slapped home a backdoor one-timer to make it 2-1. The Leafs challenged it for offsides but the goal stood. 

In the end, the Leafs won 2-1 and took a 3-2 series lead. 

Through two periods, the Bruins and Maple Leafs played as tight a game as possible. Defense reigned supreme, as the shots were 16-15 in favor of the Leafs. 

The biggest scoring chance of the first 40 minutes came when David Krejci put one past Frederik Andersen and into the top corner of the post. The TD Garden crowd and Bruins scoreboard operator thought the puck went in, as the "Goal" symbol went up around the arena and fans got on their feet. 

Defensively, both teams were as sound as possible. The Leafs stuck to their five guys packed in front of the net scheme and the Bruins played with their normal layers. 

Sean Kuraly looked solid in his return, logging 14:12 minutes of time on ice with two shots. His addition helped Noel Acciari and Chris Wagner successfully shut down the John Tavares line. 

A common theme of the series has been the physicality aspect. Typically, the team that's had the most hits won. The Bruins had 29 hits and the Leafs had 26. 

That storyline wouldn't hold on Friday night. 

The Leafs took a 3-2 series lead. Both teams will head to Toronto for Game 6 at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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