TORONTO – Adam McQuaid had a grin on his face after Monday night’s Game 3 was over, and there were plenty of good reasons for that mirth in the wake of Boston’s 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
McQuaid had himself a pretty good game with a goal, six hits and a pair of blocked shots along with a plus-3 rating in a somewhat limited 9:46 of ice time, and his team had taken a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The goal was McQuaid’s first playoff goal in six professional hockey seasons, and it opened Boston’s scoring attack in the first period.
“It’s my first playoff goal as a pro. It’s the second playoff goal in 10 years . . . I think had one in junior,” said McQuaid, who said he missed his chance at grabbing a keepsake to remember his big moment. "I didn’t get the puck. That was the last thing on my mind, but it still counts.
"We were happy to be able to contribute in other ways just than in the defensive end. I’m not necessarily going out with that mindset, but it was really nice to see it go in.”
McQuaid has markedly stepped up the nasty and the physicality in his own game during the playoffs while getting paired with veteran blueliner Wade Redden, and he finally appears to be at full strength after going through some health woes earlier this season.
His goal came together quickly. David Krejci beat Jay McClement on an offensive zone face-off and the puck floated back to McQuaid at the right point. He fired a shot that managed to find its way through traffic and beat James Reimer at the 13:42 mark of the first period.
Clearly the Bruins won’t be counting on a ton of offense out of their bottom defensemen pairing, but McQuaid and Redden have played starring offensive roles in each of Boston’s two playoffs wins thus far in the series.