NHL Playoffs 2018 Thursday schedule, scores, updates, news, odds: Bruins steal Game 4 vs. Maple Leafs, Capitals pull even
The Bruins take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Leafs while the Caps draw even with the Blue Jackets
So what side should you back? And where does the value lie? Visit SportsLine to get NHL odds and picks for every Stanley Cup playoff game, all from the advanced computer model on a red-hot 21-8 NHL run.
No Patrice Bergeron, no problem. The Bruins took back the momentum from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday in Toronto, stealing a 3-1 win that puts them one win away from advancing as the series heads back to Boston for Game 5 back on Saturday.
The Washington Capitals, meanwhile, managed to pull even with the Columbus Blue Jackets after dropping the first two games of the series at home. The Capitals were able to reverse course and get two road wins of their own, including a 4-1 win in Game 4 on Thursday night.
Here, we've got you covered with everything you need for tonight's action:
Thursday's full schedule
- (Series tied 2-2)
Capitals even the series
After the Capitals blew a lead and lost in OT in each of the first two games of this series, Alexander Ovechkin said they'd return to Washington having taken two road wins in Columbus.
He wasn't joking, and he wasn't lying.
The Capitals evened the series on Thursday night with a 4-1 win over Columbus, making it the first game of the four that hasn't needed overtime to decide. Ovechkin even contributed his third goal of the series to help get the win.
They often say a series doesn't truly begin until the home team loses a game, but maybe this one doesn't truly begin until the road team loses? There's a lot of momentum on the line when this series resumes for Game 5 on Saturday afternoon.
Tuukka Rask helps Bruins steal Game 4
Hockey can be quite silly sometimes, and Thursday's Game 4 between the Bruins and Maple Leafs in Toronto was a pretty good example of that.
The Bruins were outplayed and out-chanced by the Leafs for a majority of the contest, but they managed to escape with a pivotal win that pushes the series to 3-1 in Boston's favor.
The Leafs dominated possession (66-percent Corsi) and had 41 scoring chances to the Bruins' 22, but the Bruins managed to weather the storm and find sunlight on the other side. That comes thanks in large part to the performance of Tuukka Rask in Boston's net. Rask stopped 31 of 32 shots on net and kept the Bruins in the game.
Things got off to a shaky start for the Leafs, as Torey Krug scored just 28 seconds into the first period to give the Bruins an early lead in Game 4.
Things turned around for Toronto, though. They went on to control play for a good portion of the period, eventually picking up the equalizer on Tomas Plekanec's first goal as a Leaf.
Toronto continued to dominate through most of the second period, but they got nothing to show for it. With just over three minutes remaining in the middle frame, the Bruins caught a break at the end of a long shift when David Pastrnak found Brad Marchand on a 2-on-1 rush.
That's a great feed by Pastrnak, but what the heck is Nikita Zaitsev doing there? Either way, the goal gave the Bruins an unlikely 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Both the Marchand and DeBrusk goals came as a result of odd-man rushes that were born out of questionable pinches from Toronto defensemen.
Now, the Leafs will have to win three straight if they hope to advance, startign with a win-or-go-home Game 5 back in Boston.
Bergeron ruled out for Bruins in Game 4
In a surprise bit of news that broke just prior to puck drop on Thursday, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was ruled out for Game 4 against the Maple Leafs.
The team officially announced that Bergeron would be out of the lineup with what they're calling an "upper-body injury." The exact details of what the injury is or when it was suffered are still unknown at this point.
Bergeron played in Game 3, seemingly without incident, logging 21:44 of ice time and being held scoreless. He had five points in the first two games of the series.
The Bruins went 11-5-2 without Bergeron in the lineup this season, but his absence will hurt -- especially considering how dominant Boston's top line was against the Maple Leafs in the first two games of the series. Riley Nash is expected to take his spot on that line while Tommy Wingels will draw into the lineup with Bergeron out.
Stay tuned for updates on Thursday's games.
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