If you enjoy frequent bouts of nausea and faintness followed by soul-crushing sadness and total jubilation, then Freddie Andersen’s turbulent Game 3 performance is right in your wheelhouse.
In a 2-0 hole and needing Andersen to step up in the worst possible way, the Maple Leafs netminder had a perfect opening frame before briefly turning into Swiss cheese during a three-minute span in the second. After Adam McQuaid slid a greasy one through the wickets of Andersen, noted goal-line sniper Zdeno Chara put this short-side squeaker in between Freddie and the post to even the game 2-2.
Zdeno Chara scores from a wild angle pic.twitter.com/cHPbcgsJQC
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 17, 2018
Neither of those were pretty, to be sure, but Andersen more than redeemed himself with several five-bell saves and at crucial times, starting with a massive glove save on David Krejci earlier in the middle frame.
Andersen had 40 stops total on the night, but none were bigger or more timely than this repulsive stick save on the smoking hot David Pastrnak — who netted a whopping nine points through the first two games of the series — with just over two minutes to go in the third:
If you missed Game 3 of Maple Leafs-Bruins, this is all you really need to watch pic.twitter.com/ru8Yc3lYtR
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) April 17, 2018
With the Bruins’ net empty and Toronto clinging to a 4-2 lead, the puck found Pastnrak in prime area — as it has so much in this series — before the postseason’s leading scoring let one rip but was foiled by the paddle of the sprawling Andersen’s twig.
Andersen did his best to describe the acrobatic robbery post-game.
“They had a lot of bodies in front of the net and I picked up the pass a little late so I just tried to get something on it and luckily I got a piece of it,” he said.
Auston Matthews, who tallied the first playoff game-winnig goal of his fledgling career in Game 3, was a little more blunt with his assessment of his goaltender’s art.
“That was one of the best saves i think i’ve ever seen.”
Us too, Auston. Us too.