Saturday, November 9, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 1
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- In the first meeting between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals May 13, this Original Six matchup Saturday night at TD Garden did not disappoint.
It was as though they were playing the eighth game of that series. Both teams were energized, and it ended with the Bruins posting a 3-1 victory. The Bruins scored twice on the power play as Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron netted the goals. Bergeron then added an empty-netter with 21.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask made 33 saves. The Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul scored for Toronto.
Special teams proved crucial for the Bruins. Not only did they capitalize on the man-advantage, Boston was a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The biggest kill came in the waning minutes of the third period with the Bruins holding on to a one-goal lead when Carl Soderberg was called for holding, but Boston's PK stifled Toronto's attack.
With the win, Boston is 10-1-1 in its past 12 games against Toronto, and 21-4-3 in the past 28 contests.
Boston gained a 1-0 lead on Chara's power-play goal at 15:27 of the first period. The Bruins produced solid puck movement and with the big man camped out in front, Boston capitalized on its first man-advantage of the game. It was Chara's third goal of the season. He began playing that spot in front on the power play at the start of the season and he's grown comfortable there, and it showed on that goal.
The Leafs built sustained pressure in the second period and backed the Bruins into their own zone time and again. The Bruins were caught in long shifts and bad line changes. Toronto finally tied the game at 1-1 when Lupul beat Rask at 16:52 of the period. Lupul's snap shot from the right circle beat Rask to the high glove on the short side. It was Lupul's eighth goal of the season. The Maple Leafs outshot the Bruins 18-10 in the second.
Boston began the third period with time remaining on a power play, and the Bruins capitalized when Bergeron knocked in a loose puck at 1:06.
Toronto pulled goalie James Reimer before Bergeron scored at 19:38 en route to victory.
INJURED: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid suffered what appeared to be right leg injury with 12:08 remaining in the first period. He was attempting to receive a pass behind the Boston net when he came up lame and dropped to the ice in obvious pain. He remained there until play was stopped. It appeared he was grabbing the groin/hip area of his right leg. He did not return.
DROP 'EM: Prior to his injury, McQuaid dropped the gloves with the Maple Leafs' Frazer McLaren at 1:48 of the first period. The two began their tussle in front of the Toronto bench, and it was a spirited bout with both exchanging shots. Not to be outdone in the fighting department, the Bruins' Jarome Iginla and the Leafs' David Clarkson went toe-to-toe 45 seconds into the second period. The two traded blows before it was stopped.
SPECIAL PUCK DROP: Sam Berns, 17, of Foxborough, Mass., dropped the ceremonial puck prior to the game. Berns was honored as part of Progeria night at the Garden. Progeria is an accelerated aging disease. He received a standing ovation from the 17,565 in attendance and both teams. He also served as an assistant equipment manager for the Bruins. Berns has a documentary, "Life According to Sam," on HBO about his experience with the disease.
UP NEXT: The Bruins host the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 1 p.m. matinee Monday at TD Garden. The Bruins then close out their current five-game homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.