SC Express: Maple Leafs/Bruins Game 7 history
The Toronto Maple Leafs held a team meeting before their flight to Boston on Monday, electing not to practice before Tuesday's Game 7 against the Bruins.
Toronto will face the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series for a second straight year on Tuesday after failing to close out the series on home ice Sunday.
The Maple Leafs trailed the Bruins 3-1 in their series after four games last year, but rallied to force a Game 7, which they lost 7-4. This year, the Maple Leafs took a 3-2 series lead into Sunday's game but fell 4-2, being outshot 41-24.
"It's a new year," Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen told NHL.com after Sunday's loss. "The comparisons, it's not where we're focused. We're focused on getting better for the next game.
"We're trying to make something happen. I thought we gave ourselves a chance [in Game 6]. We'll have to do it in Boston."
Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, who had just one goal in seven games last postseason, scored his fifth goal of the series on Sunday.
"It's a completely new day, a new game," Matthews said. "You take the good and the bad, and we've got an opportunity. We're going into their arena and we've got to be ready to go. It's going to be a good atmosphere. It's win or go home, so we need all the guys on board and we need a good start, obviously.
"It's a tough loss. We would have loved to close it out on home ice tonight. We didn't. So regroup as a team – move forward, learn from our mistakes and we'll be ready to go in Boston in a couple days."
The Maple Leafs will try once again Tuesday for the first playoff series win since 2004. Toronto saw a 4-1 third-period lead erased in Game 7 against the Bruins in 2013, eventually losing 4-3 in overtime.
The Maple Leafs are 2-1 in Boston this series, including a 2-1 win in Game 5 on Friday.
"We've had some success there," said John Tavares, who signed with the Maple Leafs on July 1. "It will obviously be a tough task and a great challenge, but it's a great opportunity for us. It's been a [heck] of a series so far. We've still got a great chance to move on and get it going for a victory."
The winner of Game 7 will advance to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round.