Nazem Kadri on suspension: I think 3 games was a little harsh

Nazem Kadri on suspension: I think 3 games was a little harsh”

Boston was minus No. 1 centre Patrice Bergeron, who was a late scratch with an upper-body injury, but it didn't matter as the Bruins ground out a victory on a night where some of Toronto's young stars failed to produce on the big stage. The Bruins won 3-1 in Toronto to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series.

The Bruins missed Bergeron in Game 4, with Toronto holding the edge in shots on goal, scoring chances and offensive zone possession.

Nash took Bergeron's spot up the middle on the top line alongside David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand on Thursday and did enough to make the Bruins forget that their four-time Selke Trophy victor was a late scratch from the lineup. Riley Nash replaced Bergeron on the first line, while Sean Kuraly became the third line center, and Noel Acciari centered the fourth line. "We're going to need our best effort".

Kadri, who charged Tommy Wingels while Wingels was on his knees against the boards, cost his team dearly when the National Hockey League hit him with the suspension - thus costing the Leafs a 32-goal scorer and one of their best two-way players.

While the Leafs had bad luck in the first two games, in Game 3 it was Pastrnak who hit the post on one shot and then Toronto's Frederik Andersen made great saves on two others, first with his glove and then with his stick. In some ways, they could have used the quick-strike prowess that Ryan Donato (5-4-9) showed in just 12 regular-season games. Over is 4-0-4 in Bruins last 8 home games and over is 3-0-2 in Bruins last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game and over is 4-0-2 in Bruins last 6 games following a win. Marchand has 91 points on 35 goals and 56 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 29 different games.

"The last game, 90 percent of the time, is the hardest one", Cassidy said.

For example, when the Bruins were down one in the third and the Leafs had a 2 on 1. I think you've got to enjoy part of the duress of this time of year. In Game 4, Boston funnelled the Leafs back into the grinding, stationary cycle game, which isn't their forte to say the least.

Jake DeBrusk added an insurance goal for the Bruins, who can advance to the second round on Saturday. "He's very good at shutting down the other team's best players".

"I was disappointed", he said of the suspension.

"I'm assuming he thought he would come tonight and dominate the game - that's what I thought", the coach said. We just have to counter it with some better checking and adjustments in terms of their transition game that we have discussed and done a good job. Did it cause the Leafs to sit back and think, "We've got this", instead of reproducing the desperation they displayed in Game 3? "Gives us an opportunity to win every night". "But I think the three games was definitely a little harsh". "The reality is we'll go through all of that again and we'll set ourselves up for success".

Auston Matthews scored the victor on a setup from William Nylander in Game 3, but both have been held off the scoresheet otherwise.

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