Bruins beat Maple Leafs for ninth time in last 10 tries
Boston (21-7-3) v. Toronto (17-12-4)
Final score: Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 2
In a game that the Bruins never led for one moment, they found a way to beat the Maple Leafs in the two teams’ last matchup of the season. Tuukka Rask saved two attempts in the shootout, and Milan Lucic broke a 15-game goal-less streak in the second period that brought some life back to TD Garden.
The Bruins gameplay was ugly by coach Claude Julien’s standard. They made 69 shots, and less than half–29 of them–were anywhere near the Leafs goaltender. They were once again a bust on their only power play of the night, and gave away a goal in the early going of the second period on Toronto’s power play. Toronto had three power plays in the game, capitalizing on one.
Keys to the Win
- In the third period, the Bruins made only six shots due to Toronto’s stifling defense, but Patrice Bergeron scored with assists from Dougie Hamilton and Brad Marchand.
- After going 0 for 15 in the last 15 games, Milan Lucic was determined to get one in the net in this one. Lucic’s goal at the 9:49 mark in the second period was the Bruins’ only response to the Leafs’ momentum as they led 2-0 just minutes before.
- Tuukka Rask held down the fort with crucial saves in OT and in the shootout.
Keys to the Loss
- The Leafs controlled the tempo of the game after getting up two scores early on, but were not able to sustain pressure on the Bruins throughout regulation.
- Toronto lost the faceoff advantage by a huge margin. The Bruins won 63 percent of their faceoffs.
- Toronto defense let the Bruins set up their 2nd goal of the night for the tie in the third period to go into OT. With 9:24 to go in the third, only two Maple Leafs players were near the goal, and neither were able to block out Patrice Bergeron for the tying goal.
Player of the Game
Patrice Bergeron was phenomenal in the third period. The Bruins were down 2-1, and needed a score to tie the game. Bergeron saw the play develop, got into position, and rifled a shot between two defenders.
Quote of the Game
“It was almost like I wasn’t even thinking,” Milan Lucic said. “It’s just one of those things that when you’re scoring, you’re not even thinking about it. So my only thought was ‘take the puck to the net.’ And I was able to open him up. He played really well the last two games, [James] Reimer. He plays post to post pretty well, so that’s why I decided to go in the 5-hole there.”
The Leafs ended an eight-game losing streak against the Bruins on Saturday at home in Toronto. Two days later, the Bruins are back in business. Make that 9-1 in the last 10 meetings between the two teams in favor of the Bruins. A 90 percent win rate against any team in the NHL is something to be marveled at. The Bruins will play the Canadiens next on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden.