May 8, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: B's ride Krejci's hatty to Game 4 win

By Jesse Connolly

This shot from David Krejci might not have gone in, but the helpless positions of James Reimer and Dion Phaneuf are just too hilarious to not run this photo. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 4, Toronto 3 (OT)

Recap: After a dud of a performance in Game 3, which followed a two-goal performance in Game 2, Joffrey Lupul showed he was back in top form right off the hop, beating Tuukka Rask 2:35 into the game to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. Toronto upped that to two when a weak shot beat Rask due in large part to an inadvertent screen by d-man Zdeno Chara.

Boston responded early in the second with a power-play goal from Patrice Bergeron and tied things up at the 12:59 mark on David Krejci's third tally of the postseason. Krejci made it a 3-2 Boston lead before the period was up, but Clarke MacArthur fired home a shot from the slot with 2:37 to go until the intermission to knot things up.

After a scoreless, frenetic third period, the game went to overtime. Krejci completed his hat trick at the 13:06 mark with the game-winner.

Series: Bruins lead 3-1

Playoff Records: Boston 3-1; Toronto 1-3

Key Play of the Game: Nathan Horton sacrificed life and limb to make the outlet pass that sent Krejci off to the races in overtime. With Lucic driving to the net, No. 46 patiently waited before wristing one past James Reimer just a few feet short of the crease for the winning strike.  

Connolly's Commendations: I suppose we should probably start with the guy who scored three goals? Yeah, he was pretty phenomenal. Krejci now -- once again -- leads all NHLers in goals (five) and points (10) in the postseason.

Boston's captain was huge tonight -- no, that's not a height joke. Chara had four (!) assists, helping set up each of the B's goals. He did have one awful giveaway late in his own zone, but we'll let that slide.

Rask just turned in the best postseason performance of his life. It's hard to say Krejci wasn't the reason they won this game, but good lord did No. 40 come up with an abundance of tremendous saves on the night, especially during crunch time in the third period and overtime.

Connolly's Critiques: How's this for alarming? Tyler Seguin had six points in the first five periods of his playoff career. Since then, he has four points in 22-plus games. Yikes! No. 19 is 0-fer the series thus far and the only forward other than Chris Kelly and Shawn Thornton that's appeared in multiple games and not registered a point.

Notes: The Bruins are 0-2 in Game 5s when holding a 3-1 series lead under Claude Julien. No update was given on whether or not Horton sustained an injury on the final shift of the game. Rask finished the game with 45 saves on 48 shots, while Reimer stopped 41-of-45. Chara became the first Bruins defenseman with four assists in a single playoff tilt.

Final Thoughts: Commanding leads are pretty cool, but no lead is better than an insurmountable one. That'll require a fourth victory in this series. They say that's always the hardest one to get, so the B's will have to be at their best in Game 5.

Next: The Bruins and Leafs will take to the ice at TD Garden for Game 5 on Friday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ