The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are all knotted up at two games apiece as they head to a pivotal Game 5 in Boston Friday. No team has been able to win more than one game in a row in this series, and there have been plenty of momentum changes. The Bruins were able to even the series up with a 6-4 victory in Game 4.
Each team has proven the ability to win on their opponent’s home ice, but the Bruins do have home-ice advantage for the final three games of the series. Toronto won the series opener in Boston by a score of 4-1, and then the Bruins were able to steal Game 4 on the road as well. This has all the makings of a series that is headed for a decisive game 7.
Boston is -150 in this matchup against the Maple Leafs.
Marchand, Pastrnak Leading Bruins
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak led the Boston Bruins’ offense all season long, so it’s no surprise that they are doing it in the playoffs as well. Marchand leads the team with four assists and six points, while Pastrnak scored a pair of key goals in the Game 4 victory. The Bruins are also one of the best power-play units in the league, and these two players are a key part of that. Don’t be surprised to see another big night from them in Game 5.
The Bruins gave up just 2.59 goals per game during the regular season, and they have been just as good so far in these playoffs. Boston kills off only 17 percent of its own penalties, but they don’t take very many of them. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has stopped more than 92 percent of the shots he has faced, and his defense has played well also.
Maples Leafs Must Defend
There is no doubt that the Toronto Maple Leafs want to turn this into a track meet, but at some point, they have to play defense. The Maple Leafs allowed 3.04 goals per game during the regular season, and their defense was a mess in Game 4. Goaltender Frederik Andersen has stopped 91 percent of the shots he has faced, but he is getting worn out from all of the abuse. Toronto is going to have to slow down and play some defense to win this game.
The Maple Leafs have a trio of centers who have all tallied four points so far in these playoffs. Young Auston Matthews is arguably the most talented of the three, leading the team with three goals. John Tavares and Mitch Marner have both led their respective lines as well, and the Maple Leafs can really score. Toronto has enough offense to win this game, but it will be up to their defense.
Boston Takes 3-2 Series Lead
The Bruins should have plenty of momentum after their Game 4 triumph, and they know that this is a must-win game for them. The Boston fans will be going crazy, and their defense will be good enough to slow down the Maple Leafs. The Bruins are going to win Game 5 and take a 3-2 series lead. Bet the Boston Bruins -150 over the Toronto Maple Leafs.