The Bruins gave more of the same to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. They ran the Leafs into the locker room after the first, the B’s ran from the Leafs in the second period and Bergeron killed them once again in the third. This game could have been a replay from last years playoff series. I wonder if Patrice Bergeron isn’t starting to get in the heads of the Maple Leafs with winning goals.
The Leafs two best players all night were Joffrey Lupul and James Reimer. Lupul had the Leaf’s only goal and 8 shots and Reimer kept his team in it to the end making 31 saves. Along the way Adam McQuaid had a fight to start the game where he may have injured his right hand and then on a harmless retreival of the puck behind his own net, seemed to tweak/pull a hip flexor/groin leaving the Bruins short 1 defenseman for 55 minutes of the game. The Leaf’s pressed this advantage in the second period hemming the B’s in their own end for long stretches wearing down the stamina of Chara and Seidenberg. Finally at just about the 17 minute mark of the second period, Lupul beat Seidenberg cleanly down the right side and snapped a laser shot over Tuukka’s left shoulder for the tying goal.
Back to the first period, where the Bruins dominated the Leafs and kept them bottled up in their own end for significant periods of time. Boston’s best player of the period was clearly Jerome Iginla, he and his lines mates seemed unstoppable. Late in the period they had in zone possession for 2:15, causing the Leafs to run around and it came to an end with a holding penalty called on Jay McClemment. This led to a Boston power play goal scored by Chara after a great second effort rebound feed to the crease by Iginla for the scoop by Chara with two defensemen draped all over him in the crease. One needs to recognize Reimer here as he was peppered for 14 shots and only allowed the one goal.
The second period featured Toronto taking their turn in dominating the Bruins and peppering Tuukka with 18 shots and getting the lone goal late in the period. On his first shift Iginla squared of with David Clarkson in a fight between veterans and the Bruin’s best player of the first period sitting in the box may have contributed to slow start and sluggish play as Toronto was gaining confidence by the 6 minute mark and Boston couldn’t contain the surge. A late second period high sticking penalty (4 minutes)by James Van Reimsdyk gave the Bruins an on ice breather going into the period break.
The Bruins came out in the third period and cashed in on the power play just past one minute by Bergeron as he swooped in and banged home a rebound of Carl Soderberg’s that was left sitting just outside the crease. Despite talking two minor penalties the Bruin’s were able to clamp down and hold on for the victory. This was a night where the Bruins got the most out of their special teams as they scored on 2 of 3 power plays and held Toronto off the board with their penalty killing. Bergeron finished off the scoring into the open net after Marchand chipped a pass up the left side that Loui Eriksson was able to out muscle a Toronto defenseman and make a pass to the crease for the easy tap in. The work of the special teams has been improving the last three games and the effort was typical blue collared style the Bruins have been known for the last few years.
The next game is Monday at 1PM against Tampa Bay at the TD Garden and can be seen on NESN and heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. The Lightning sits atop the division and has been enjoying a surge with balanced defense, scoring, special teams play and solid goaltending. This team will require a huge effort to beat and we can expect to see Matt Bartkowski in for the injured McQuaid.
Until next time! Go Bruins!