Boston Bruins

Burned by defensive breakdowns and missed opportunities, the Boston Bruins fell short by a 4-2 score in a back-and-forth affair against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Monday.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Bruins in the game for much of the 60-minute run time, but ultimately couldn’t quite match Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen in the final period. Andersen kept the B’s at bay amid a flurry of late scoring chances, while the Bruins also simply couldn’t finish on a handful of open looks at the net.

After mostly surviving a first-period barrage from the Leafs, Rask and the Bruins defense finally got beat late in the opening frame. Capitalizing on a questionable call for delay of game against Riley Nash, James van Riemsdyk put the Leafs up 1-0 after gaining position on Zdeno Chara in front of the net and hammering home a rebound on the power play.

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid found the equalizer for the Bruins just 3:06 into the second period when a shot from the point trickled through Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen. But Patrick Marleau answered to make it 2-1 just 43 seconds later, as Mitch Marner got behind Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller to take a long pass from Morgan Rielly and set up Marleau for the Leafs’ second go-ahead goal.

Not to be outdone, Zdeno Chara answered back minutes later when he carried the puck down low himself then fired the puck off Andersen’s helmet and into the net to tie it 2-2.

But the Leafs came up with yet another big answer of their own, starting with a string of scoring chances on Rask before Auston Matthews finally found the net for his first point of the series. He sniped it over Rask’s right shoulder to put the Leafs up 3-2.

The Bruins generated several golden scoring chances against the Leafs throughout the third, including two near-misses by David Pastrnak within 26 seconds on an early power play. Patrice Bergeron also got stopped on a point-blank opportunity with Andersen down on the ice.

For some salt in the wounds of the Bruins’ missed chances, Toronto’s Patrick Marleau buried the back-breaker for his second of the game to make it 4-2. Taking a short pass from Tomas Plekanec as he turned up ice, Marleau burst into the Bruins’ zone as he caught Miller by himself on defense and ripped the puck over Rask far-side.

Andersen made 40 saves saves in all, including a highlight reel-quality stop when the Bruins had an extra attacker with the net empty. Pastrnak fired it on target at an open net from the low-faceoff circle, but Andersen dove to his left and got the paddle of his stick on the puck to preserve the final score.

Up Next: The Maple Leafs and Bruins now get two days off before Game 4, which happens Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at Air Canada Centre.

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