Toronto Maple Leafs: Up Against the Wall for Game 5
It was a crushing loss that was felt by every Leaf player as well as their many fans.
The game started off with the Leafs using their speed and being rewarded with a two-goal lead. That gave them some confidence heading into the second period.
The rest of the game went like this: The Buds seemed to be skating through concrete as the Bruins were able to erase the deficit before potting another goal to put the Leafs on the losing end of the game.
A late goal by Clarke MacArthur was enough to tie the game up at three, as both teams geared up for overtime.
Before this happened, however, Leaf defenseman Mark Fraser was hit in the head by a Milan Lucic shot. It was a scary moment and Fraser did not return. He underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his forehead. The Leafs took the loss of the steady defenseman hard and as a result came out hard in the extra frame.
It was David Krejci's third goal of the game that ended the night for both teams. Dion Phaneuf took an ill-advised gamble in the Bruins' zone and that, coupled with Ryan O'Byrne playing the pass rather than the shot on the partial odd-man rush, led to the OT winner.
In a previous article, I wrote about the worst-case scenario for the Leafs being if they were to lose Game 4. That exact thing happened and now Toronto faces a must-win game in the Bruins' barn.
In order to win against the B's this coming Friday to prolong the series, a few things will need to happen.
The Leafs need to do their absolute best to contain the line of Lucic, Krejci and Nathan Horton. Much easier said than done, as that line has been wreaking absolute havoc so far in the playoffs.
The Buds also need more secondary scoring to kick in. Having MacArthur contribute a goal last night was nice and they really need more of that.
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin have been buzzing all around the Bruins' net and something has to give at some point. Both of them scoring points in Game 5 could really help the chances of a Leaf victory.
Their backs are up against the wall. They have bent, but not broken. The only advice I have for the Leafs would be to take each game one at a time from now on.
Win the battles and give your best effort on every shift you play. It's not over yet.
Tweet me @FuscoNation16.
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