Maple Leafs' Sheldon Keefe: Bruins' Brad Marchand 'elite' at getting away with penalties

Boston Bruins pesky star Brad Marchand played a major role in Game 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring twice for a 4-2 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

He also hauled down Toronto's Tyler Bertuzzi before Boston's Trent Frederic tied the game 1-1 in the second period. He did it again before the final Boston goal.

Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe lamented the lack of a call but indicated it was typical for Marchand, whom he called a world-class player for his ability and his gamesmanship.

"He gets calls. It's unbelievable, actually, how it goes," Keefe said. "You've got to play through that stuff. I don't think there's another player in this series that gets away with taking out Bertuzzi’s legs the way that he does. There's not one other player in the series that gets away with that, but he does. It’s an art and he's elite at it."

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Bertuzzi, also known for his peskiness, played for Boston last season in the playoffs after the Bruins acquired him at the 2023 trade deadline. He and Marchand were going at each other throughout Wednesday's game.

After Bertuzzi tied the game 2-2 at 11:25 of the third period, Marchand responded 28 seconds later with a perfect shot into the top corner of the net after Maple Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov lost his stick.

The Bruins captain added an empty-net goal after first knocking down Bertuzzi. He leads Boston with six playoff points in three games.

"He's a great player," Bertuzzi said. "That's what he does. He's been doing it a long time. I don't expect it to stop."

Marchand has 55 playoff goals, tying Cam Neely's franchise record. He passed Neely to take the lead with his 12th playoff game-winning goal.

"He obviously wants to get under our skin and influence the refs," said Toronto's Matthew Knies, who scored the opening goal. "I think we just have to be composed and not kind of get into that (expletive)."

Golden Knights go up 2-0 on Stars

The Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars are in trouble after the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights won 3-1 to take a 2-0 series lead.

Vegas is now 5-0 against the Stars this season as goalie Logan Thompson improved on his shaky Game 1 win with a 20-save effort. Jonathan Marchessault, the 2023 playoff MVP, had a goal and assist and trade deadline acquisition Noah Hanifin scored the game-winner.

Worse for the Stars: Mason Marchment and Radek Faksa left in the third period and didn't return. Stars coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday he expected to have a better update on players' injury statuses on Friday.

The series shifts to Las Vegas for the next two games.

"We've been a great road team all year, so we just go to go and do it," DeBoer told reporters. "It doesn't feel good today, the hole we're in, but when you remove yourself from the emotion of it and look at the actual underlying numbers and things, the margins are razor thin."

Kings tie up series with overtime win vs. Oilers

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar, who tied Luc Robitaille for most playoff appearances in franchise history, scored at 2:07 of overtime for a 5-4 win that evens the series with the Edmonton Oilers at 1-1.

Kopitar also assisted on Adrian Kempe's two goals. Kempe batted the puck out of the air on the second goal.

The Kings held Oilers star Connor McDavid to one assist after he had five in the opening game.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maple Leafs coach: Brad Marchand 'elite' at getting away with penalties