(Photo Credit: Michael Chisholm/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Good things happen when you shoot the puck. The Boston Bruins took advantage of a pair of miscues from Ilya Samsonov before Brad Marchand potted two goals in the third period to edge the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2, on Wednesday night in a pivotal Game 3.

Jake DeBrusk netted his third goal of the postseason, and Trent Frederic lit the lamp. Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves between the pipes as The Bruins now hold a 2-1 series edge.

Matthew Knies opened the scoring in the second period, but Boston responded with two unanswered tallies while posting a perfect 5 for 5 penalty kill to edge the Leafs on the road. Marchand gave the Bruins the lead in the third period, sealing the win with an empty net goal with 35 seconds left.

The first period didn’t produce any scoring, but that’s not to say it was uneventful. Both teams combined for 32 hits in the first frame as tensions rose early at Scotiabank Arena.

The Bruins were handed a power play opportunity just 40 seconds after the drop of the puck due to a delay of game infraction by Toronto’s Simon Benoit after flipping the puck over the glass. Boston posted three shots on goal during the advantage but couldn’t generate any meaningful scoring chances.

However, the Bruins saw the penalty box the most in the first, a precursor to what would transpire in the second stanza. Penalties from Mason Lohrei and Pavel Zacha kicked off a run of four straight Bruins penalties into the middle frame. While both sides continued to walk the line, the officiating was not on the Bruins’ side.

Toronto broke the ice at 13:10 in the second on a slick passing play from the Leafs that resulted in a goal. Toronto came weaving into the Boston zone as Mitch Marner found Knies on the back door for an easy tap-in. The Bruins struggled to get back on defense–including a lackluster backcheck from Zacha–resulting in the puck in the back of their net.

After recording just seven shots on goal in the first period, the Bruins emphasized putting rubber on the net in the second. The B’s totaled 15 shots en route to a responding goal from Frederic to knot the game at one. While Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi exchanged pleasantries in the neutral zone, Frederic wheeled the puck into the zone before throwing a puck near the short side of Samsonov. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s all it took to even the game.

The Bruins capitalized on another blunder from Samsonov, scoring a power play goal just over a minute into the third. Marchand fired a shot on the cage, which was poorly handled by the Toronto netminder, resulting in a net-front rebound. DeBrusk didn’t squander the opportunity, cashing in his third goal of the playoffs to give the Bruins a lead.

But the Leafs wouldn’t go down without a fight. Mike Reilly peppered a shot toward Swayman, which Bertuzzi deflected to respond to Boston’s push. Hampus Lindholm was riding Bertuzzi along the crease, but the former Bruin could free his stick for an impressive redirection to light the lamp.

That’s when Marchand took matters into his own hands, roofing a wrist shot just 27 seconds later to regain the lead. Danton Heinen won a puck battle below the goal line, finding Marchand positioned on the right face-off dot for a catch-and-shoot scoring chance. The veteran Bruin executed a quick release that was no match for Samsonov before converting an empty net goal in the final minute of the contest to seal the win.

(Photo Credit: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)