Bergeron line having its way with the Maple Leafs

Bergeron line having its way with the Maple Leafs

It took almost eight periods but Toronto's best player has shown up on the scoresheet - and just in time to save Leafs Nation from blowing its collective gasket.

It had not been a happy marriage since Plekanec became a Leaf back on February 25, with the former Montreal Canadien looking disinterested at times and out of sorts at others through his first 19 games with Toronto, including two in the playoffs.

Working the cycle and hemming the Bruins in the zone, Jake Gardiner delivered an agressive pinch which eventually saw the puck land on the stick of Willy Nylander who, as he often does, found his partner in crime before Matthews roofed it past Tuukka Rask.

Boston's 2-0 series lead is simply a case of the Bruins' best players playing like they are their team's best players.

The 31-year-old played on the top line in Game 1, but was bumped down to the fourth in the second period after going down 4-0.

More shirts, mom. More shirts.

Boston's game plan from the opening faceoff of Game 1 has been clear, hit everything wearing a Maple Leaf and fire the puck on net from anywhere.

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Those things did not transpire, yet for Game 3 against the Boston Bruins, Leafs coach Mike Babcock had Plekanec starting on the second line between Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner, with the idea the trio might be able to hold Patrice Bergeron and pals in check.

Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog are capable of dictating the pace, and the Avs will get tremendous support from their home crowd.

"We let them hang around a bit", Predators center Nick Bonino said, per Adam Vignan of the USAToday Network.

Before I bet a line I think is questionable, I always try to deduce what the catch might be.

Nashville is capable of winning on the road, and stars like Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi, Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban can take over any game.

The Bruins outscored the Maple Leafs by a combined 12-4 in the opening two games, ones in which Toronto looked overwhelmed despite having beaten the Bruins in three of four games in the regular season. That means getting better goaltending.

Nash scored 15 goals and assisted on 26 more in 76 games played this season. Nobody expected them to do anything against the powerful Preds, but they have pushed hard to this point. That, in a seven-game format that gives the home team the advantage, is obviously true. Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf will set the tone, and the Ducks win on the road and start to turn this series around.

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