Bruins look to eliminate Maple Leafs and move to second round

The first round best of seven playoff series between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs has been just what someone would expect from a matchup of the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.

The series has been evenly matched, with Boston leading the series 3-2 after losing game 5 to the Maple Leafs 2-1 on Friday.

Game six will be played today in Toronto, with the Bruins having another chance to eliminate the Maple Leafs and Toronto trying to win to force a game 7 in Boston.

Boston has had its problems finishing off series, a case in point was the 2010 semifinals of the Eastern Conference when they led 3-0 and lost the series 4-3.

Boston should feel confident heading into the game on Sunday. The Bruins won both games 3 and 4 to take a 3-1 series lead and have not lost on Toronto’s home ice during the postseason since 1959.

Players on the Bruins know that streak does not give them an advantage and are not over confident, but they are not afraid to go and play there as certain teams are at other venues.

Toronto got great goal tending from James Reimer in game 5 as he stopped 43 of Boston’s 44 shots on goal. Toronto took an early lead in the game 2-0 and then held on after being outshot 32-8 over the second half of the second period and the third period.

Tuukka Rask, the Bruins goaltender has also been spectacular in goal with a .933 save percentage and a 2.32 goals against average.

Since 2010, Boston is 4-8 in games where they could eliminate their opponent. That includes the 2010 semifinals where they lost four straight to Philadelphia. However, overall Boston is 15-2 in seven games series after taking a lead of 3-1.

The year following their four straight losses to Philadelphia, the Bruins returned to the post season and won the Stanley Cup.

Wade Redden should return for Boston in game 6 after missing game 5 due to an undisclosed injury. On Saturday, Redden was practicing with the team and he will be a game time decision.

Toronto has been led offensively thus far by Joffrey Lupul who has scored 3 goals and Jake Gardiner who has 1 goal and 3 assists. David Krejci has been the offensive force for Boston leading the team in goals with 5, in assists with 6 and in total points with 11.

If Toronto is able to break their home ice jinx against the Bruins on Sunday, the series will return to Boston for game 7 on Monday.

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