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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews reacts after scoring the go-ahead goal Monday in Boston.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 1:00 am

NHL Playoffs

Maple Leafs slow Bruins' top line to remain in series

Associated Press

TORONTO – Auston Matthews scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Patrick Marleau had two goals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Monday night in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

James van Riemsdyk also scored and Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly added two assists each to help Toronto pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven set. Frederik Andersen stopped 40 shots.

Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara had the goals for Boston, Sean Kuraly had two assists, and Tuukka Rask finished with 26 saves.

The Maple Leafs will look to even the series at home in Game 4 on Thursday night.

Matthews was held without a point through 120 minutes where Toronto was outscored, outmuscled and outplayed in losing by a combined 12-4 margin at Boston. However he came through to snap a 2-2 tie with 5:13 left in the second when he rifled a shot short-side highs on Rask from a sharp angle after a great feed down low by William Nylander.

Boston's top line of David Pastrnak (four goals, five assists), Brad Marchand (one goal, five assists) and Patrice Bergeron (five assists) totaled 20 points through the first six periods of the series while also holding Matthews and Toronto's top unit off the scoresheet.

But the Maple Leafs finally had an answer on this night as the Bruins' trio failed to find the range.

The Boston power play – which went 5 for 10 in the first two games – got its first opportunity early in the third, but Pastrnak hit the post off a feed from Rick Nash.

The Maple Leafs finally sealed it with 3:35 left when Marleau scored his second of night on a 2-on-1 rush, firing a shot past Rask for the 70th career playoff goal.

DEVILS 5, LIGHTNING 2: In Newark, N.J., Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists, setting up Stefan Noesen's game-winner with 7:05 play.

Rookie Will Butcher had a power-play goal earlier in the third to tie the score 2-all, and Blake Coleman and Ben Lovejoy added empty net goals late. Cory Schneider made 34 saves while starting in place of Keith Kinkaid.

Schneider, who seemed to hurt his groin in a collision with Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh midway through the final period, survived a late power play to nail down the win.

Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos each had a power-play goal and an assist for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov added two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will be Wednesday night in New Jersey.

Hall was the Devils' MVP during their stunning run from the worst team in the Eastern Conference to the postseason in a year, and he didn't disappoint in their biggest game of the season.

Hall skated down the right boards, avoided a check by Tyler Johnson and found Noesen in the left circle with a cross-ice pass that the forward one-timed past Vasilevskiy to take the early lead.