The Maple Leafs seek their first series lead as the matchup shifts to Toronto for Game 3 (7:00 p.m. EST, Sportsnet/CBC/ESPN).

The Maple Leafs were impressive at five-on-five in Game 2 on Monday, controlling nearly 70% of the scoring chances in all situations (38-17) and 58.93% of the Expected Goals, according to Natural Stat Trick. They also overcame adversity throughout the game, erasing two separate deficits and scoring three goals for the first time in nine playoff games. They earned the road split despite zero offensive contributions from two of their superstars, one of whom hasn’t played a game in the series yet (Mitch Marner and William Nylander).

Marner is due for a breakout game in this series. As for Nylander, Keefe stated this morning that the star winger could return tonight, but as usual, we won’t know for sure until close to puck drop. If he plays, he is projected to join the third line with Calle Jarnkrok and Pontus Holmberg, which would see the Leafs spread out their three most impactful forwards on different lines in the playoffs for practically the first time ever in this era. In the regular season, Keefe has looked to spot in Nylander with his other star forwards situationally — a good idea, broadly speaking, especially when trailing — but it is a careful balancing act as the Leafs‘ forward depth is their big advantage in this series, and getting all four lines rolling can really challenge the Bruins to keep up.

Beyond Nylander’s potential return, there are no expected lineup changes for the Leafs tonight. The Bruins, on the other hand, are shaking up their lineup. Andrew Peeke — who sustained an injury in Game 2 — and Matt Grzelcyk are out on the blue line and will be replaced by Mason Lohrei and Parker Wotherspoon; the Boston blue line is getting less experienced but bigger in size. James van Riemsdyk is in for Jakub Lauko on the third line for the Bruins as Boston seeks more depth scoring. Expect Jeremy Swayman, who has had the Leafs‘ number so far, to be the starter for the Bruins as they continue their tandem rotation in goal.

Maple Leafs’ Keys to Game 3

via Anthony Petrielli

  • If you’re Sheldon Keefe, don’t get too caught up in the last change now that you’re at home. This has been an issue all season. Get all four lines into the game and bank on the team’s depth. The matchups are in place.
  • Harness the home-crowd energy productively instead of getting carried away and taking bad penalties.
  • Expect Boston to find another level and be much better offensively, so focus on quick ups defensively and chip and chase. Make the forwards—the team’s strength—do all the heavy lifting.
  • The Leafs have to be clean through the neutral zone. Boston will look to counterattack on their mistakes.
  • It appears that if William Nylander does return, it will be in the place of Nick Robertson.  The decision for Keefe is whether to move Calle Jarnkrok up to the John Tavares matchup line or leave Jarnkrok to help cover for a rusty Nylander alongside Pontus Holmberg.

Game Day Quotes

Mitch Marner on his line’s offensive play so far: 

I think we’re trying to be responsible. Obviously, we’re matched up against a very good line on the other side that can really make you pay if you give them odd man rushes or chances against. I think we’re trying to find that medium of playing more o-zone, more cycles, and trying to get pucks around the net, but at the same time, making sure we’re doing it in a safe way.

Sheldon Keefe on dealing with Marchand, who has drawn a penalty in each game:

You just have to be smart. You have to recognize the moment and the player or players you are playing against. They are very good at making it very clear there has been an infraction. We have to manage that for sure.

Keefe on leveraging last change at home:

We will see what the lineup looks like tonight, but we were pretty good with how the forward matchups went on the road. We were pretty good with how they worked out. Both teams are top six/bottom six, and you have to be smart about how you manage it and get outside of that.

They really focused on Auston and his line with how they utilized their defense. We will be able to manage that a little bit better at home and make it a little more difficult for them. At the same time, that line has been doing really well. We have to manage the matchups accordingly so that we are not chasing one to get something favourable over here while exposing ourselves on the other side of it — especially with the way we have been playing without different people.

Jim Montgomery on William Nylander’s potential impact on the series when he returns:

I would say I am hoping he is not playing again tonight.

Montgomery on the challenge of matching up against Auston Matthews without last change:

We are deep on defense. We have four guys. We should be able to get two of those four out there.

Montgomery on the Bruins’ need to respond after a Game 2 loss:

I thought Toronto got significantly better. We just marginally did. We need to be better. That is the exciting part of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It is a series. You have to win your matchups. You have to win your battles. For coaches, it is the adjustments you make. It is why we love our job.

Montgomery on Mason Lohrei’s progression in his rookie season:

Maturity. Growth. He is a sponge for the coaches, so he is really fun to work with. I think the growth in his defensive game has been very obvious.

Montgomery on the extra off days in Toronto after Game 3:

I would have rather been here Thursday/Saturday, if I’m being honest. I think we’re spending more time in Toronto than Toronto’s spending in Boston, and we’re the home team.

Maple Leafs vs. Bruins — Series Shot Attempts & Heat Map (5v5)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines*

#59 Tyler Bertuzzi – #34 Auston Matthews – #11 Max Domi
#23 Matthew Knies – #91 John Tavares – #16 Mitch Marner
#89 Nick Robertson – #29 Pontus Holmberg – #19 Calle Jarnkrok
#24 Connor Dewar – #64 David Kampf – #75 Ryan Reaves

#44 Morgan Rielly – #46 Ilya Lyubushkin
#2 Simon Benoit – #22 Jake McCabe
#20 Joel Edmundson – #37 Timothy Liljegren

Starter: #35 Ilya Samsonov
#60 Joseph Woll

Extras: TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano, Conor Timmins, Noah Gregor, Martin Jones, Cade Webber
Injured: Bobby McMann, William Nylander

Boston Bruins Projected Lines*

74 Jake DeBrusk– #18 Pavel Zacha – #88 David Pastrnak
#63 Brad Marchand – #13 Charlie Coyle – #39 Morgan Geeke #
#21 James Van Riemsdyk – #11 Trent Frederic – #43 Danton Heinen
#19 John Beecher – #70 Jesper Boqvist – #61 Patrick Maroon

#6 Mason Lohrei – #73 Charlie McAvoy
#27 Hampus Lindholm – #25 Brandon Carlo
#29 Parker Wotherspoon – #22 Kevin Shattenkirk

Starter: #1 Jeremy Swayman
#35 Linus Ullmark

Extras: Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Lauko
Injured/Out: Andrew Peeke, Justin Brazeau, Milan Lucic, Derek Forbort

*Note: At playoff time, with neither coach forthcoming on lineup decisions or injury situations, the final lineups won’t be known until close to puck drop.