The Maple Leafs increased their shots and hits in Game 3 against Boston. Their mistakes also went up, and that was enough for the visiting Bruins to win 5-2 Monday night.
Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille and David Krejci, with an empty-net goal with 1:17 remaining, scored for Boston, a playoff-savvy squad that came out with an edge. And left with an edge in the series, 2-1.
“I think, as a team, we played a good road game,” Krejci said. “Maybe we didn’t have as many chances in Game 1 (a 4-1 Boston win), but I think it was a perfect road game and I’m pretty happy about that.”
Game 4 is Wednesday night.
The loss came before 19,746 amped-up fans inside the Air Canada Centre. Outside, a blue-and-white throng watched on a big screen in Maple Leaf Square as playoff hockey returned to Toronto for the first time since 2004.
“The crowd was awesome,” Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said.
“One of the loudest I think I’ve played in front of in the NHL.”
Didn’t make much difference in the end. Toronto’s errors did.
“They made less mistakes than we did and their execution level was above ours,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.
“Mistakes just killed us tonight,” echoed defenseman Jake Gardiner, who scored his first playoff goal.
The dominant line of Milan Lucic, Krejci and Horton finished with two goals and six assists. They have combined for 17 points through the first three postseason games, with five goals and 12 assists.
Veteran Jaromir Jagr also showed off his skills, setting up a goal and controlling the puck as if it was glued to his stick.
“Vintage Jagr in the offensive zone,” Boston coach Claude Julien said of the longtime NHL star.
Former Bruin Phil Kessel accounted for the other Toronto goal in a physical game.
Rangers 4, Capitals 3: Derek Stepan and Arron Asham both scored tiebreaking goals in the third period for New York in a victory over visiting Washington in Game 3.
The Rangers finally found their offense and got back into their first-round playoff series. New York still trails 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series, with Game 4 in New York Wednesday night.
Stepan gave the Rangers the lead for good with 6:25 left when he deftly tipped in a pass in front from Rick Nash. Asham had put New York in front 3-2 at 2:53, but Jay Beagle got the Capitals even again 4:26 later.
Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who managed only one goal in the first two losses in Washington and hadn’t scored since the first period of Game 1 – a scoreless stretch of 124 minutes, 6 seconds.
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist was sharp, making 28 saves.
Red Wings 3, Ducks 2 (OT): Damien Brunner scored with 4:50 left in overtime, lifting Detroit to a series-evening win over visiting Anaheim.
Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl started the winning sequence, passing the puck from behind Detroit’s net up the ice to Joakim Andersson. He tried to connect with teammate Gustav Nyquist only to have Hiller poke the puck away.
Brunner, playing in his first NHL season, was in perfect position in front of the net and swatted in the puck to end the game.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Anaheim.
Pavel Datsyuk scored a second tying goal for the Red Wings with 6:33 left in regulation. Brendan Smith made it 1-1 early in the third.
Matt Beleskey gave the Ducks their first lead 5:07 into the game and David Steckel put them ahead midway through the third period.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Anaheim.
Kings 4, Blues 3: Anze Kopitar tied it with 12:46 to play, Justin Williams tipped home the go-ahead goal 76 seconds later, and Los Angeles evened its first-round series with St. Louis with a victory in Los Angeles.
Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions. They erased an early two-goal deficit and a third-period deficit to earn their ninth consecutive home victory since March 23. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves.
T.J. Oshie scored his first two playoff goals for the Blues, who had the champs on the brink of serious trouble before Kopitar and Williams beat Brian Elliott, who stopped 25 shots.
Game 5 is Wednesday in St. Louis.