The Boston Bruins are back in familiar territory in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After taking both games three and four in Toronto, the B’s are coming home with a chance to clinch in game five for the second year in a row.

Not only that, but this is the third time in four playoff meetings with Toronto that Boston has gone up 3-1.


The Bruins won game three off the backs of Jeremy Swayman and Brad Marchand.


Sticking to the goaltender rotation, Swayman got the game-three starts after deferring to Linus Ullmark on Monday.

Toronto carried their momentum from game two, dominating the first thirty minutes of play. Poor discipline from the Bruins saw them take four consecutive penalties that the Maple Leafs failed to convert, partly due to exceptional goaltending from Swayman.

Eventually, Toronto managed to break through when Matthew Knies tipped home a backdoor feed from Mitch Marner. A few minutes later, when all attention was drawn to Marchand and Bertuzzi at center ice, Trent Frederic beat Ilya Samsonov on a very soft goal.

Just like that, Boston retook control of the series. From that point on, the Bruins began to dictate the pace, played far more composed and even got a few calls. 

Jake DeBrusk stuffed home his third goal of the series early in the third period on a carryover power play.


Swayman continued to stand on his head and stonewalled Toronto until a point shot was deflected by him off Hampus Lindholm’s skate. But Marchand would retake the lead 28 seconds later off a perfect top-corner snipe.


Marchand would score again to ice the game with an empty net power-play goal and give Boston the win.

Game three was tense, chippy, and competitive. Game four was a rout.

Bucking the goalie rotation trend, Jim Montgomery opted to give Swayman the net for the second consecutive game.

James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring by jumping on a bad turnover from Ryan Reaves, and Boston never looked back.

At this stage of the series, Toronto’s power play woes had become a major talking point. The Maples Leafs were just 1-11 on the man advantage in the series coming in and failed to convert on two opportunities in the first period.

For the Bruins, it has been quite the opposite. In the second period, Brad Marchand snapped home his third goal in two games and second straight power-play goal. Not only was this Boston’s sixth goal with the man advantage in the series, but it also made Marchand the Bruins’ all-time leader in playoff goals with 56.

The captain then set up David Pastrnak in the dying seconds of the period for the dagger. Toronto scratched one back in the third but hardly threatened otherwise, and the Bruins took a 3-1 series lead.

The win in game four was Boston’s seventh in eleven playoff games in Toronto since the 2013 series. Brad Marchand has more points by himself (8) than all the Maple Leafs $10m forwards combined (6).


As confident as the Bruins should be, this is still familiar territory for them.


Nobody needs to be reminded about what happened when Boston had a 3-1 lead last spring. However, it’s also worth noting that this is the third time the Bruins held a 3-1 lead on Toronto, and Boston lost game five on every previous occasion.

The goaltending debate is all but settled; it’s Jeremy Swayman’s net through the rest of the series. Swayman stopped fifty-two of fifty-five shots in the two road games and led the playoffs with a .956 save percentage. Game three could’ve easily gone Toronto’s way without several crucial saves from the Bruins netminder.


According to MoneyPuck, Swayman leads all goalies with 8.5 Goals Saved Above Expected. Logan Thompson of Vegas is second, with just 4.8.


Game Five will be on ESPN at 7 pm Tuesday night at TD Garden.

PHOTO: ClutchPoints

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