TORONTO — The Bruins have no reason to panic.

Still, Boston must be better in Game 4 to prevent the emboldened young Toronto Maple Leafs from making it a very uncomfortable best-of-three series.

“Effort-wise, on the offensive side of things, we did enough to win,” Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Away from the puck, we need to correct a few things from keeping it out of our net. But I don’t fault the effort. They’re a good hockey club. They’re going to generate some offense. 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.

“But we had pockets of the game where they beat us in that area.”

Offensively, there’s not much to fix other than putting the puck in the net. The Bruins fired 42 shots on Frederik Andersen, which doesn’t count the three pipes they clanged. Rick Nash had five shots on net and David Krejci heeled a beautiful set up from Jake DeBrusk, while the Patrice Bergeron line had nine shots.

Nash looked at the game as the law of averages simply kicking in.

“When you look at the first two games,” said Nash, “some of the goals that probably shouldn’t have gone in, went in, and (in Game 3) some of the goals that should have went in didn’t go in. That’s hockey. You can’t let the frustration creep in when that stuff happens. You have to make sure you stick with it.”

AFTER MISSING Game 3 due to a lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is set to return Thursday night.

Speaking after the team’s practice Wednesday at Air Canada Centre, Cassidy noted that Grzelcyk is “looking like he’s got a good chance to play tomorrow” in Game 4.

Grzelcyk took part in practice, skating on Boston’s third defensive pairing alongside Adam McQuaid.

Grzelcyk played in both Game 1 and Game 2, averaging 16:30 of time on ice while logging one shot on goal and a plus-1 rating. The puck-moving defenseman might not have plenty of size, but he does possess the speed that could provide beneficial in shutting down some of Toronto’s odd-man rushes.


PENGUINS 5, FLYERS 0: Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became Pittsburgh’s career postseason points leader in a win at Philadelphia.

The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as it shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5.

Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.

Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173.

The Flyers were already on their second goalie by the time Crosby scored. The Penguins chased Brian Elliott early in the period after the maligned goalie allowed his 14th goal of the series. Michal Neuvirth relived Elliott and it didn’t matter. Neuvirth lost track of the puck behind the net and had his head turned to the right when Crosby found it and snapped it under the goalie’s left skate.

The Flyers were confused. The Penguins were composed.

And so it goes in Philly with the Flyers are on the brink of another empty season without the Stanley Cup.

Game 5 is Friday.

LIGHTNING 3, DEVILS 1: A feisty Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey’s top defenseman out of the game with a big hit, and visiting Tampa Bay moved within a game of making New Jersey’s first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one.

J.T. Miller also scored and had two assists, and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped three breakaways in making 27 saves as the Lightning bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to tale a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

Tampa Bay can wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 at home on Saturday.


JETS: Defenseman Josh Morrissey was suspended for one game for cross-checking Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal.

The cross-check to Staal’s neck happened in the first period of Winnipeg’s 2-0 victory.