Maple Leafs narrow gap in Game 3

Pastrnak's Game 2 performance among 10 best playoff performances of past 30 years

NHL Playoffs 2018: Updated 1st-Round Schedule, Dates, Times and Predictions

And there's something to be said for Matthews' confidence after his first goal of the series came with Bergeron on the ice, and with that line pinned in their zone for what had to have been the first and only time in the opening three games of this series.

"It's a great start", Tuukka Rask said of Boston's opening two games of the postseason. The Wild lost both games in Winnipeg before returning home in Game 3 for a 6-2 victory while looking like a completely different team.

The first one put Toronto 2-1 up, 3:49 into the middle frame and came just 43 seconds after the Bruins had pulled even. The Leafs do not want to go down 3-0 to the Bruins, that would be very hard to come back from.

With Torey Krug pestering a streaking Marleau, Marner laid a ideal cross-crease pass to his teammate, allowing Marleau to tap the puck home.

Give them this matchup again, which seems like Babcock's only call with Kadri still suspended, and they'll feast.

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Knowing what we do about the character and makeup of this team, that all seems unlikely to repeat.

Kapanen's lightning speed was in evidence as he was able to get in alone for a couple of near misses and Marner had key first assists on each of Patrick Marleau's two goals. By comparison, Boston's top line is outscoring the Maple Leafs' top line by 18 points and unless Matthews and Nylander can find their game in Toronto this series might not make it back to Boston. The Bruins had plenty of chances to gain the lead but were unable to defeat the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

Nash has been out since March 31 after being struck in the ear by a slapshot.

"I've been so impressed with him since Day 1 that I got here", said Plekanec, who was acquired on February 26 at the trade deadline.

Ryan Donato got his first taste of National Hockey League playoff action on Saturday night, but the rookie will be heading back to the press box for Game 3.

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His play with his new team hit rock bottom in the series opener when the veteran centre struggled in the Bruins' 5-1 rout. James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Connor Brown remained together on the only line that has remained a constant for the Leafs this postseason.

From the moment the lottery balls fell Toronto's way and Matthews fell in its lap, this club was always going to be defined by what "Papi" could produce.

McQuaid had a great game scoring his first goal of the playoffs.

"The atmosphere will help, the guys around me doing a tremendous job, that will help", Nash said.

The Maple Leafs may be down but they don't feel as if they're out of it just yet and they are confident that they'll get back in the series in front of the home crowd.

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State insiders with knowledge of the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Texas has seen the biggest deployment, with 650 sent to the border, while Arizona has dispatched 250, and New Mexico about 60.

And, thanks to the way Marner is playing, it won't have to be.

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