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RSS FeedsMaple Leafs climb back into series with a little bit of luck
(The Star Theatre)


17 april 2018 05:51:33

Maple Leafs climb back into series with a little bit of luck
(The Star Theatre)

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Leafs coach Mike Babcock chose Tomas Plekanec — who had been struggling — to centre Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner when Nazem Kadri got suspended.But depth at centre — in particular one with defensive awareness — was what the Leafs needed at the trade deadline.And it worked Monday night as Marleau scored twice — one on a defensive play started by Plekanec to put the game away — and the Leafs beat the Bruins 4-2 to cut Boston’s lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal to 2-1.Read more: Opinion | Bruce Arthur: Leafs back on track, just in timeMaple Leafs release last-minute seats on the cheapPastrnak knows linemates have his back“I thought Plekanec was outstanding, played his best game since he’s been here,” Babcock said. “Just the fact that maybe he didn’t feel as important as he should have when he got here, maybe that affected his play. But he was really effective (Monday).Just as important as the win — with goals also from a jubilant Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk — was the fact that the Leafs kept Boston’s big guns off the scoreboard.Not that David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand — who combined for 20 points over the first two games — didn’t have their chances. They had plenty in the third period. But Frederik Andersen was spectacular after allowing goals by Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara.Andersen might have saved the playoffs with a diving mid-air stick save on Pastrnak with about two minutes to go in the third period and Boston’s net empty for an extra attacker.“Mitch (Marner) had fallen down in the corner, so Patty (Marleau) had to come over and help out and the next thing you know they were able to seam us,” Babcock said. “It was a huge save for is. We stayed at two (goals ahead) instead of being tight and having to battle through that last ...
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