Leafs’ Nazem Kadri suspended for rest of Bruins series

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The Bruins cut Toronto's lead to 3-2 when forward Charlie Coyle scored on the power play with 38 seconds left before the second intermission, but the Leafs had the lead entering the third, and they outshot Boston 16-11 to underscore their successes in the period.

Andreas Johnsson, also with a goal and an assist, and Trevor Moore provided the rest of the offence for Toronto.

Absorbing the loss was Frederik Andersen, who allowed four goals on 41 shot attempts.

The Leafs' lead didn't last long, as Bruins centre David Krejci netted his first of the playoffs at the 3:30 mark to tie it up.

But a third incident in the Bruins' 4-1 victory inside a deafening TD Garden on Saturday night that knotted their first-round playoff series 1-1 saw Kadri snap in yet another moment of post-season madness.

The retired National Hockey League winger and notorious on-ice instigator weighed in on Saturday night's incident involving Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. "You've just got to find another level to dig in". He could receive a suspension of five games or more.

The Bruins, probably mindful of a potential crackdown by the referees after the mayhem from Kadri, DeBrusk and many others in Game 2, did not come quite as hard as they did in winning that game 4-1. This would be the fifth time in his career that he's been suspended for an illegal check and the eighth time he's faced discipline from the league - he's been fined three times.

In the last decade, Toronto has been unable to overcome Boston in the first round twice - once in 2013 and again last season, falling in seven games in both series.

"It's disappointing for Naz, it's disappointing for our team", Babcock said.

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The Maple Leafs did not let the circus surrounding Kadri's suspension for cross-checking Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk throw them off their game.

Kadri travelled to NY for an in-person hearing, meaning the league had the option to suspend the player for more than five games.

"In anything in life, you want to be in control and you've got to own everything".

The Leafs played a feisty, determined first period, taking it to the Bruins right out of the gate, then weathering Boston's push-back in the latter half of the period.

That cannot happen, not only because it is a frightful way to play the game, but also because the Maple Leafs need him. Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk, who had a running feud going with Kadri in the first two games, was booed each time he touched the puck. William Nylander took Kadri's spot as the third-line centre, with winger Connor Brown moving up from the third line to take Nylander's spot and Tyler Ennis joining the fourth line.

Mar 13, 2015 Missed 3 games (disciplinary).

And the consequences from this ban could last well beyond the first round of the playoffs.

If Babcock can trust Kadri - who is under contract through the 2021-22 season with an annual average salary of $4.5-million USA - we aren't sure how.

Especially since those hockey talents make him so valuable that the Maple Leafs cannot afford to lose him when he inevitably does resort to those shenanigans that get him removed from the lineup.

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