With their backs against the wall, the Maple Leafs will look to force a seventh game by winning at home for the first time this postseason.
Toronto will undoubtedly play with the desperation they showed for most of Friday night. The difference tonight will be that the Bruins are also starting to feel the pressure. Boston will be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the Leafs and James Reimer in an effort to close out this series. With the continuing struggles of Seguin and Marchand, the offensive load will likely be carried by the Krejci line.
At the other end of the ice, two feisty Leafs centers in Mikhail Grabovski and Nazem Kadri earnestly want to make a contribution of their own to their team’s success. With the way Grabovski has elevated his game in these playoffs, it should only be a matter of time before the Belorussian finds his name on the scoresheet.
There will be no lineup changes for the Leafs as Randy Carlyle has found his desired group up front, whereas injuries have dictated the personnel on Toronto’s blueline. For Boston, Andrew Ference is day-to-day with an injury, and will be replaced by Matt Bartowski.
With a home crowd starved for a playoff victory, there will be tangible excitement and energy in and around the ACC tonight. Having spent the night as a team in a Toronto hotel, the Leafs will hopefully come out with the aggressive attack and speed that saw them dominate the majority of Friday’s game. By now, they know they can beat this Boston team, but it will not be easy.
Before the Leafs momentous win in Boston on Friday, Clarke MacArthur told the media that someone would need to be the hero that night. He also – off the record – stated that he would score a goal. True to his word, MacArthur played the role of hero by delivering the game-winner on a fantastic, driven individual effort. The Leafs will need more heroics tonight in what will be the most important hockey game played in this city in almost a decade.
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