Leafs unable to hold multiple leads, fall 7-4 to Bruins in Game 7

Apr 26 2018, 9:36 am

While they certainly had their chances, the Toronto Maple Leafs were unable to advance to the second round, losing Game 7 of their first-round series against the Boston Bruins by a score of 7-4.

Toronto held the lead three times in the game, including carrying a 4-3 score into the third period.

But Boston struck back with four-straight goals in the final frame, putting the icing on the series with a Brad Marchand empty netter with just 51 seconds left in the game.

The Bruins outshot the Leafs 36-24, including a 24-14 margin over the final two periods.

Each of the teams relied on a first-year addition to their team for a pair of goals.

21-year old Jake DeBrusk found the net twice for the Bruins, including the game-winner, while Toronto’s Patrick Marleau struck twice in the first period to give Toronto 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Marleau’s first effort came as the result of a tip-in on the power play, just 2:05 into the first period.

After DeBrusk evened things up at one, Marleau’s second goal of the night (and fourth of the playoff series) put the Leafs ahead with a little under fourteen minutes remaining in the first period.

While uneven penalty calls had been a storyline earlier in the series (particularly in a Game 5 when Toronto faced six shorthanded opportunities to Boston’s one), each team was called for four minor penalties on the night.

The Leafs had their best chance for a victory when they went ahead 4-3 during the second period on a shorthanded effort from Kasperi Kapanen, who had hit the post a number of times throughout the series.

Kapanen edged out Marchand in a footrace, and completed a deke past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to put Toronto up by one.

But it would be their last moment of joy, as they’d be unable to muster up any more offence.

Following the game, Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner, who was on the ice for five of Boston’s goals and was beaten by DeBrusk on the series winner, was noticeably emotional.

Despite the defeat, there were some silver linings being pulled out from the Twittersphere.

Boston advances to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the top two seeds in the Atlantic Division gets things underway in their second-round series on Saturday.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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