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Maple Leafs Even Series as Bruins Collapse Continues – Hockey Writers – NHL News

The Toronto Maple Leafs evened their series with the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night (May 2), as William Nylander led the way with two goals.

Coming into this game, the Maple Leafs were 0-6 in their last six home playoff games, while the Bruins were 0-5 in games to advance to the next round of the NHL playoffs.

In addition, the Bruins entered the contest with a chip on their shoulder after their performance in Game 5.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery was pointed to the fact that his team failed to bring the right mindset or intensity early in Game 5. He held a long meeting with his players on Wednesday to discuss tactical and mental issues.

“I'm still upset about last night to be honest,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I don't understand and I don't accept our performance. I will be angry until tomorrow night.

Despite this mentality, the Maple Leafs proved to be strong and dominated the game. In the first half, the Maple Leafs built a 12-1 advantage in shots, marking their fewest shots in regulation since Game 2 of the 2004 conference semifinals (one shot against the second period).

Despite the turnover, the Maple Leafs finally broke the ice late in the second period when Nylander redirected a shot to give Toronto the first goal of the game.

Nylander added a second goal late in the third period when he beat Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman on a layup to give the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead.

Nylander snapped a 13-game hitting streak starting in the regular season. The Maple Leafs hold a 40-22 all-time record when scoring first in the playoffs, while the Bruins are 15-45 when allowing the first goal and a chance to win a series.

Matthews Misses Game 6

As was the case in Game 5, Matthews has been ruled out for the must-win Game 6 due to undisclosed ailments. Despite skating about 30 minutes Wednesday and another 30-plus minutes Thursday morning away from the big team—shooting and working harder than he did Tuesday—the 69-goal man is decidedly less than healthy.

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Hub

When asked about Matthews' absence, Montgomery said, “Obviously he's a very good player, the best scorer in the league since he came in. He knows he is a top player, but they played well without him in the last game.”

Game 7 will take place on Saturday, May 4.

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