Even though the B's didn't score on the empty net, Boston took Game 4 in a 3-1 victory and head back to Boston for a potential series ending Game 5 on Saturday.
Less than three hours later, they had been pushed to the brink of playoff elimination.
Boston was minus No. 1 center 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. Plus, we'll have good energy for us. "We didn't take advantage".
Rookie Jake DeBrusk added insurance with a third period goal.
David Pastrnak tallied two assists in front of the crowd of 19,600 at the Air Canada Centre arena in Toronto. But the Leafs answered at 7:43 when Marner beat Nash to a loose puck and got it to Marleau, who fed Tomas Plekanec to tie the game.
"We'll have a pregame skate, so if he comes in tomorrow and he's up to it, he'll go out on the ice", Cassidy said. "Now it's do or die".
The Bruins missed Bergeron in Game 4, with Toronto holding the edge in shots on goal, scoring chances and offensive zone possession.
"It doesn't matter (if Bergeron's out)", Marchand said. "You play the same way regardless of who's in or out of the lineup".
Going into the game, the Columbus Blue Jackets had a 2-1 series lead over the Washington Capitals.
No Leafs, no.
Pastrnak threw a slick, no-look pass to Marchand after drawing the defense to him, and Marchand buried his second goal of the playoffs for the go-ahead strike.
"It doesn't seem to matter, we have good wingers to play with".
"I've said that all along when guys are skating they are closer to playing and so we'll make that decision tomorrow on that".
The Maple Leafs had a solid season, but I feel that it will come to an end in this one.
But the Bruins managed to grind through some of the more hard points of the game while keeping it a low-scoring affair, and then gashed the Leafs defense in the final 25 minutes of the game for a 3-1 win at Air Canada Centre.
"I was disappointed", he said of the suspension.
If the Maple Leafs are unable to extend the series past Game 5 in Boston, the team will have nobody to blame but themselves for their disappointing play.
Asked how concerned he is that Matthews, who scored the victor Monday, has been mostly quiet, Babcock said some of his youngsters are learning hard playoff lessons. "I think the three games was a little harsh". "I thought Pasta was going to get it in and I was just going to hold and let them change and then get over there". That didn't happen, but the other people you're playing against are pros and they're trying, too, and they're competitive.
Maybe the Bruins, led by the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, would have blitzed the Leafs anyway in Game 2 but there is no doubt Kadri's absence helped the knee-capping. Plekanec had three assists in 20 combined regular-season and playoff games with Toronto before Thursday.
With their backs against the wall, the Leafs will need to win three straight games in order to see the second round. It was there where Kadri hit Bruins fo forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1, and was given a five-minute charging major, a game misconduct, and later suspended. Wingels suited up for the first time since the hit.