In Game 5 at TD Garden Friday night, the Bruins failed on their first attempt to close out the Maple Leafs. Toronto claimed a 2-1 win to send the series back to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for Game 6 Sunday night. The Bruins have a 3-2 series lead.
The Leafs, leading 1-0 after 40 minutes, doubled it at 1:58 of the third period. Johnny Boychuk missed on his clearing pass to Nathan Horton. Clarke MacArthur intercepted the puck, zoomed in on Tuukka Rask, and tucked a backhander past the goalie to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.
The Bruins started their rally at 11:12 of the third. After some heavy cycling by the power line and a good pinch by Dennis Seidenberg on Mikhail Grabovski, David Krejci settled the puck at the right circle. Krejci spotted Zdeno Chara open on the other side. Chara snapped a shot high blocker side on James Reimer to make it a 2-1 game.
The Bruins found themselves trailing, 1-0, after 40 minutes. Tyler Bozak scored the only goal during a second-period Bruins power play.
The Bruins’ No. 2 power-play unit was on the ice when Bozak struck. Patrice Bergeron, battling along the right-side boards, sent a backhand pass up the wall to Andrew Ference.
The defenseman settled the puck, then tried to dish to Brad Marchand in the high slot. Ference muffed the pass, which allowed Bozak to pick off the puck and streak away. Ference tried to catch up, but Bozak shook off the back pressure and slipped the puck under Rask’s blocker at 11:27.
Ference is not usually on the power play. Wade Redden mans the point on the second unit alongside Seidenberg. But with Redden unavailable because of an undisclosed injury, Ference was tabbed for one-up action.
In Game 4 in Toronto, Redden was especially efficient at holding the point, keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and distributing from the blue line. It is not Ference’s strength on the power play. Ference only saw man-advantage time when injuries struck during the regular season.
Earlier in the second, the Bruins had a crackling chance to score first. Adam McQuaid snapped a shot from the right point that was tipped by Daniel Paille. The deflection landed on Bergeron’s stick. Bergeron, who had just curled out in front from behind the net, settled the puck and snapped a short-range shot on goal. Reimer recovered, jammed out his right pad, and booted out Bergeron’s bid at 9:34 to keep the game scoreless.
The Bruins were nearly run out of the building in the first period, but they settled down in the second period. The Bruins put 17 pucks on Reimer in the second while allowing 10 shots. Reimer, who has given up rebounds repeatedly throughout the series, continued to leave pucks around the crease. But the Leafs swept pucks aside and set up a strong defensive perimeter to keep the Bruins from finding second chances.
Neither team scored in the first period, but the Leafs dominated the pace of the play. Toronto blitzed Rask with 19 shots. At the other end, Reimer fought off the chills, having to stop only eight pucks.
The Leafs controlled the puck in the offensive zone. On several chances, they had generated speed in center ice and backed up the Bruins defensemen in the Boston zone.
Their best scoring chance came when MacArthur found an opening in the slot and ripped a wrister on goal. Rask flashed his glove and pulled MacArthur’s shot back at 7:16.
The Leafs had another good attempt after John-Michael Liles stood up Chris Kelly inside the Boston blue line. Following the turnover, the Leafs went on the attack. Jay McClement carried the puck into the low slot, where Rask had to pounce on the rubber at 14:35.
Grabovski tried some trickery late in the first. Grabovski ragged the puck behind the Boston net. Grabovski flipped the puck high over Johnny Boychuk into the slot, then curled out from behind the net and tried to bat home the self-pass. Rask covered Grabovski’s attempt. Grabovski hit the self-pass with a high stick.
Before the game, Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo served as the fan captain. Arredondo helped to move bombing victim Jeff Bauman from the blast scene.