National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Bruins' Patrice Bergeron out for Game 4

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Brad Marchand scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Tuukka Rask made 31 saves as the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Thursday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Bruins and Maple Leafs split their two games north of the border, with Toronto cutting into Boston's series lead with a Game 3 win and the B's bouncing back for a Game 4 victory Thursday night. For a team trailing 2-1 in the series and playing at home, a quick opening goal is absolutely unacceptable as it felt Toronto was playing behind the entire game even after they tied the contest seven minutes later.

Following a regular season where they scored on 24.5 percent of all power-play opportunities (the fourth-best), the Bruins have connected on 45.5 percent of their postseason power play opportunities.

Bergeron was scratched shortly prior to Game 4 due to the injury. One key reason for that: the play of Riley Nash, elevated to the No. 1 center chair between Marchand and David Pastrnak. It wasn't like we were doing cartwheels in here when they were missing him.

The second was the pending return of center Nazem Kadri to the Leafs' second line. They played the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 14 with a score of 7-3. "That's hockey. Hopefully we get a few more next game, but give (Toronto) credit".

Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk had the other goals for the Bruins, who can seal the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at home in Game 5 on Saturday.

Game three was a very different game than the first two.

"Obviously, he's a good player", Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Friday.

"We had a breakaway and a 2-on-1, and we got nothing on it". The Bruins struggled to make crisp plays in the period and in the defensive zone were scrambling around, allowing for plenty of Toronto shots on goal.

"I think the urgency is there for us tomorrow", Cassidy said. They know the game will be tough, given that the Maple Leafs will be trying to stay alive, but they believe they're prepared. When you play better defensively, you get it faster.

"I'm assuming he thought he would come tonight and dominate the game - that's what I thought", the coach said. "Tomorrow our backs are against the wall and we need to be good and we're going to be good".

"It's one I've got to fight to see", Anderson said. During game one Carlson scored twice in the first period and again in the third period. We just have to counter it with some better checking and adjustments in terms of their transition game that we have discussed and done a good job. "Every player says that when you're in the game more you feel much better about yourself, you're more confident, and the key to that as at the beginning of the game we had a good couple shifts, gets you going, and you can shake off that rust from previous games", said Plekanec. Last year, they took the Capitals to six games, but this year, they could be out in five, especially since they lost the two games here in Boston, in this series, by a combined 12-4 count.

"Quaider just threw it off the glass and we tried to get off", said Pastrnak.