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Maple Leafs live to play another game

Facing the threat of elimination last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs regrouped and turned the tides on Boston. The Maple Leafs won last night’s game against the Boston Bruins 2-1 to stave off elimination and move onto game six.

Last night also saw another team, the St. Louis Blues, eliminated by the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Immediately following the game, Kings’ defencemen Drew Doughty was asked how the Kings were able to win four games in a row.

“We did not give up,” said Doughty.

Not giving up is the lesson the Toronto Maple Leafs seem to have bought into, winning their second game of the series against Boston. This victory sets up another must-win game for the Leafs if they hope to keep their playoff dreams alive.

The first period of the game began with a Bruins surge, but James Reimer was able to keep the gates closed and the score at zero. The Maple Leafs got more than twice as many shots, ending the first up 19-8.

The second period saw Boston try hard to get back into the game. About half way into second period, Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk took an interference penalty in the Bruins zone, forcing the Leafs to the penalty kill.

During the penalty kill, the puck went past the stick of Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and was pounced on by Tyler Bozak. Bozak skated the puck down ice, shielding it from Ference and was able to put it past Tuuka Rask for a short-handed goal which put the Leafs up 1-0.

The goal was similar to the only short-handed goal scored by the Leafs in the regular season, which was also from Bozak. The Boston Bruins are not a team that normally gives up short-handed goals.

There was no more scoring in the second period which saw the Boston Bruins outshoot the Leafs 17-10 in the second. Through two periods, the Leafs outshot the Bruins 29-25.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five
Toronto Maple Leaf’s player Clarke MacArthur battling with Boston Bruins player Daniel Paille during Game Five.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The third period saw Clarke MacArthur backhand the puck past Rask, who dropped into the butterfly early on the play. This goal gives MacArthur two goals in two games and put the Leafs up 2-0.

The Bruins were able to answer back at the 11:12 mark of the third period. Zdeno Chara was able to wrist it high on Reimer for the only Bruins goal of the game. The Leafs had been hemmed in and were unable to get a change when the Bruins goal was scored.

“To be able to get the game winner like that was a great feeling,” said MacArthur to reporters after the game.

“But we’re not here to lose,” said Joffrey Lupul. “We’re here to win this series, and if we don’t win this series, then we’re going to be disappointed.”

The defence pairing of Cody Franson with Jake Gardiner played up to expectations, swiftly moving the puck towards the Bruins’ end of the ice. Gardiner was slotted in with Franson due to an injury to Mark Fraser, who was struck by the puck on his forehead.

John-Michael Liles saw his first playoff game of the year paired with his old Colorado Avalanche teammate Ryan O’Byrne, both getting 14:31 in ice-time.

“We’re nowhere near as fragile as we were last year,” said Franson to reporters after the game.

“They’re going to be a very desperate hockey club come Sunday night, and we’ve got to be equally as desperate,” said Coach Randy Carlyle in a post-game press conference.

The Maple Leafs outshot, outhit and outscored the Boston Bruins to stay in the playoffs, and will hope to do so again this Sunday night.

Game Six is set to be played this Sunday, May 12th at 7:30 p.m. The Boston Bruins currently lead the series 3-2.

Nick Fearns

Nick Fearns

Lover of hockey and all things Leafs related. I am currently a journalism student at Niagara College in Ontario. I have developed a passion for reporting, and hockey is one of my favorite things to write about.
Nick Fearns

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