Sports

Matthews scores winner within the third, Maple Leafs down Bruins 3-2 to even collection 1-1

Auston Matthews scored the winner within the third interval and added two assists because the Toronto Maple Leafs topped the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Monday to even their first-round playoff collection 1-1.

The star centre took a lob cross from Max Domi and moved in alone on Linus Ullmark earlier than making a transfer to the forehand with 7:54 left in regulation time to present the Leafs their first lead in opposition to the Bruins within the final six video games — together with 4 within the common season.

The aim was the primary for Matthews within the playoffs in his final seven contests.

Domi and John Tavares had the opposite targets for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves.

The Leafs have been minus star winger William Nylander for a second straight recreation with an undisclosed harm after suiting up for all 82 regular-season contests.

David Pastrnak and Morgan Geekie replied for Boston. Ullmark stopped 30 photographs for the Bruins, who downed the Leafs 5-1 in Saturday’s opener with Jeremy Swayman in internet.

Recreation 3 on Wednesday in Toronto

Recreation 3 of the best-of-seven collection goes down Wednesday in Toronto. The groups then get two days off earlier than Saturday’s Recreation 4.

The Leafs received the higher of the Bruins for the primary time in 9 video games — a stretch of greater than 530 days — stretching again to November 2022.

Toronto Maple Leafs middle John Tavares (91) is congratulated after his aim in opposition to Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (not proven) through the second interval of Recreation 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff collection, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Boston. (Charles Krupa/Related Press)

After Matthews gave Toronto the lead, Boston received an influence play with six minutes left on the clock, however the Bruins by no means actually threatened Samsonov earlier than the puck stayed out on a mad scramble within the guests’ crease that included Matthews denying an opportunity within the last minute.

Boston, which topped Toronto within the first spherical in 2013, 2018 and 2019, opened the scoring at 10:18 of the primary interval when Geekie completed off a pleasant sequence with Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk after Leafs defenceman Jake McCabe took an undisciplined cross-checking penalty.

Toronto pushed proper again simply 14 seconds later.

Matthews fired a shot off the crossbar and Domi, who took a nasty penalty Saturday that led to a Bruins aim, buried the rebound on his second effort earlier than emphatically motioning to the TD Backyard crowd in celebration.

The Leafs received their first energy play and Matthews, who bagged 69 targets within the common season, had one other good probability that Ullmark stopped along with his proper pad.

The guests have been in good condition and poised to go to the intermission tied when catastrophe struck.

Samsonov misplayed a simple dump-in that led to Charlie Coyle rattling a shot off the facet of the netminder’s masks. After a delay to get some gear repairs, Tavares misplaced the offensive zone faceoff and Mitch Marner fell asleep in protection, permitting Pastrnak to one-time a blast off a candy feed from Pavel Zacha with 7.8 seconds left on the clock.

Ullmark, who received the beginning regardless of Swayman’s 35-save efficiency in Recreation 1 to proceed Boston’s crease rotation, made a terrific glove cease on Calle Jarnkrok within the second that was confirmed after video assessment to ensure the netminder’s left hand did not cross the road.

Tyler Bertuzzi — a commerce deadline acquisition by Boston final spring earlier than signing with Toronto — appeared to tie the sport 2-2 on an influence play late within the interval, however the name was reversed following one other assessment after he was judged to have batted the puck in with a excessive stick.

However the Leafs nonetheless had nearly two minutes left on that man benefit and received even when Tavares, who drew the penalty, took a cross from Matthews within the slot and fired previous Ullmark’s blocker as Toronto’s energy play lastly related on its sixth alternative of the collection.

Samsonov made an enormous cease at full stretch early within the third on a Marchand probability earlier than Ullmark robbed Nick Robertson, once more within the lineup for Nylander, on the different finish with the glove earlier than Matthews offered the margin of victory.

Nylander skates

The proficient winger sat once more regardless of collaborating in Toronto’s morning skate. Nylander did not be part of the road rushes and wasn’t included within the power-play drills.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, who had beforehand mentioned there can be no harm updates, left the door open for the Swede to play, however all indicators pointed to him watching from the press field.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery continued to play coy along with his goaltending alternative earlier than the sport — and had slightly enjoyable with reporters.

“Do you guys play Wordle?” he mentioned Monday morning of the favored recreation. “The goalie tonight has two vowels in his first and final identify.”

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