Bruins: Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO -- Shipping back to Boston.
A low-scoring affair, with strong goaltending at each end of the ice, made Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series a close game. It ended with the Toronto Maple Leafs defeating the Boston Bruins 2-1 Sunday night at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf and teammate Phil Kessel scored a goal each as Toronto staved off elimination -- again -- to force Game 7 Monday night at TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins’ lone goal came with 24.5 seconds remaining in regulation as Milan Lucic scored with goaltender Tuukka Rask pulled for the extra attacker.
Of course, now that this series is going to a decisive Game 7 after Boston led 3-1, anything can happen. The Maple Leafs have built confidence, winning Game 5 in Boston and following it up with another win on home ice.
Plus, Toronto goaltender James Reimer has been solid, and he was again Sunday night with a 29-save performance.
The first period was sloppy on both ends and remained scoreless.
Despite not scoring in the second period, neither team was assessed a penalty, which was the first period in the series that has occurred.
The Maple Leafs gained a 1-0 lead at 1:48 of the third period by capitalizing on a rare miscue by David Krejci in the offensive zone. His drop-pass attempt to Lucic didn’t connect, Toronto gained control in transition and Phaneuf finished with his first goal of the series.
Another defensive breakdown by the Bruins led to Toronto’s second goal when Kessel scored at 8:59 of the third period. Rask made the initial save on James van Riemsdyk, but the rebound came and Bruins forward Tyler Seguin was caught flat-footed, as Kessel knocked in the backhander for a 2-0 lead.
Immediately following the goal, the 19,541 in attendance began to chant “Thank you, Seguin.”
When the final buzzer sounded, the ACC was rocking.
NEED MORE: Seguin and Brad Marchand need to find a way to be more productive and give linemate Patrice Bergeron a little more help. Time and again this series, both wingers have said they know what needs to be done, but it isn’t happening. Marchand didn’t register his first shot on net until the 19:29 mark of the second period.
SCARY MOMENT: Bruins forward Daniel Paille was involved in a scary collision in front of the Boston bench in the first period when he caught a skate blade in the neck. He immediately grabbed his neck and went to the bench. Bruins team physical therapist Scott Waugh quickly worked on Paille and fortunately he was fine and did not miss a shift.
LINEUP CHANGES: With defenseman Andrew Ference back in Boston with an undisclosed injury suffered in the third period of Game 5, Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to insert rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton into the lineup for Game 6. It was Hamilton's second Stanley Cup playoff game. He also played in Game 2 when Ference was serving a one-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of the Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will host Game 7 of the series Monday night at TD Garden. The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers will play Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and the winners will meet in Round 2.
The Maple Leafs were a confident group in their locker room following their morning skate. The players were relaxed and joking around as they hoped to force a possible Game 7 Monday night in Boston.
“We’re not going to expect anything but Boston’s best, and I’m sure it’ll come early and it’ll come often,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “We have to be able to at least put ourselves in a situation where we can control the puck and do a lot of attack. We have to establish that forechecking game as quickly as possible and I’m sure that’s what their mandate is going to be.”
The Maple Leafs controlled the first 40 minutes of their 2-1 win over the Bruins in Game 5, but Boston outplayed Toronto in the third period, to no avail. Any player on either team asked this morning about momentum brushed the question away.
“We’re obviously happy with the way we played last game, but that’s last game and today’s a new day and another big game for our team,” Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said.
Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers team that erased a 3-0 deficit against the Bruins and won in the semifinals during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins had a 3-1 lead in this series before the Maple Leafs won Friday to force Game 6. While van Riemsdyk says you can’t compare the two situations, he believes this Toronto team can do the same.
“It’s tough to really compare something like that, but at the same time, you’ve got to have that belief in yourself, first and foremost,” van Riemsdyk said. “We definitely have that belief that we can go out there and win a hockey game. We know it’s going to be a big challenge, they're a strong group over there, they’ve been a strong team all season long and they won the Cup two years ago. We know there’s a lot at stake and we know it’s going to be a tough challenge for us.”
After the Game 5 loss, the Bruins had no answers for their poor start, and despite finishing that game strong, they’ve already forgotten about it.
“I wish I knew why we didn’t have our best game, but let’s hope we have it tonight,” Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. “Momentum, a lot of times, is just a word. It depends on who’s playing their game that given night.”
TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins erased an early two-goal deficit and finished with a 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins' David Krejci scored the winning goal at 13:06 of OT to complete a hat trick and give Boston a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Friday night at TD Garden.
Krejci continues to be an offensive force with his three goals, including a power-play tally, while Patrice Bergeron also added a goal on the man-advantage.
The Maple Leafs had goals from Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson and Clarke MacArthur.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 45 saves, while Toronto netminder James Reimer finished with 41.
After the Maple Leafs held their morning skate to prepare for Game 4, numerous Toronto players were talking about the importance of getting the first goal against the Bruins. Well, the Maple Leafs capitalized at the 2:35 mark of the first period to gain a 1-0 lead. Toronto's Phil Kessel threaded a pass to Lupul out front and he pumped it in for his third goal of the series.
The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs 15-8 in the first period, but in the waning minutes Toronto took a two-goal lead when Franson's easy wrister from the right point beat a screened Rask for a 2-0 advantage.
The Maple Leafs blocked 13 shots in the first period, while Boston blocked two.
The Bruins stormed back in the second period and it didn't take them long to mount the comeback. Only 32 seconds into the period, Bergeron scored a power-play goal to cut Boston's deficit. The Bruins tied the game 2-2 when Krejci scored his first. He crashed the net and knocked home a Brad Marchand shot at 12:59 for his third goal of the series.
He wasn't done.
At 16:39, with the Maple Leafs' Colton Orr in the box for elbowing, Krejci scored a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. His wrist shot from the left faceoff circle beat Reimer to the top left corner.
Boston's lead didn't last for long, however, as MacArthur scored at 17:23 to tie the game 3-3. The Maple Leafs had a 5-on-3 situation for 52 seconds at the end of the second period and to start the third. Boston stifled the attack and killed off the pair of penalties to keep the game tied at three.
The Bruins had a golden opportunity with a four-minute power play early in the third period, but could not capitalize. There was plenty of back-and-forth action in the third and the Bruins created numerous quality scoring chances, but couldn't convert. The Bruins' Nathan Horton had three of those chances.
In overtime, Krejci notched his fifth goal of this series to give the Bruins the win.
SCARY MOMENT: In the closing seconds of the first period, the Bruins were on the power play when forward Milan Lucic was hit in the face by a redirected puck. He dropped to the ice and was bleeding as the buzzer sounded to end the period. He got to his feet and slowly skated off the ice with team trainer Don Del Negro waiting for him at the bench. Lucic returned for the start of the second period and assisted on Bergeron's power-play goal at 32 seconds.
ANOTHER SCARY MOMENT: Nearly to the midway point of the third period, Lucic unloaded a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that hit the Leafs' Mark Fraser in the forehead. The Toronto defenseman dropped to the ice and left a pool of blood. He was able to skate off the ice with the help of a trainer, but did not return.
INJURED: Early in the second period, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk injured what appeared to be his left leg during a scramble in front of Rask. Boychuk skated gingerly to the bench, but came back for his next shift. It didn't last long as he returned to the bench in obvious pain and went to the dressing room. He returned to the ice two minutes later and finished the game.
Bruins forward Chris Kelly also was injured when he took a nasty high stick to the face by the Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri 58 seconds into the third period. Kelly was cut on the play and skated directly to the dressing room and Kadri was handed a double-minor. The Bruins could not capitalize on the four-minute power play. Kelly returned and finished the game.
LINE TWEAK: Coach Claude Julien tweaked his lineup a bit in the second period by flip-flopping Shawn Thornton and Jaromir Jagr. Thornton played on the wing along with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Jagr was lined with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.
SCRATCHES: As expected, Julien kept the same lineup for Game 4. The healthy scratches for Boston were defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Aaron Johnson, along with forwards Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg and Jay Pandolfo.
UP NEXT: The series continues Friday with Game 5 at TD Garden with the Bruins having an opportunity to end it on home ice.
TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins returned to their winning ways and produced a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night at Air Canada Centre.
It wasn't a dominating performance similar to Game 1, but the Bruins capitalized on the Maple Leafs' mistakes to secure a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Bruins got goals from Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille (short-handed) and David Krejci (empty net). Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask came up big time and again, finishing with 46 saves. For Toronto, Jake Gardiner and Phil Kessel scored, while goaltender James Reimer made 34 saves.
The Bruins produced numerous shots from the point in the opening period, and one resulted in the first goal of the game. McQuaid's slap shot from the right point made its way through traffic and beat a screened Reimer to give Boston a 1-0 lead at 13:42 of the period. The tally was McQuaid's first career goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins gained a 2-0 lead on Peverley's goal at 5:57 of the second period. Linemate Jaromir Jagr picked Maple Leafs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne clean of the puck behind the net and fed Peverley in front for the goal.
Boston's two-goal advantage disappeared later in the period.
With the Bruins' Tyler Seguin in the box for a lazy tripping penalty, Toronto capitalized and cut its deficit when Gardiner scored a power-play goal at 13:45.
Fortunately for Seguin and the Bruins, Horton gave Boston another two-goal lead when he scored his third goal of the playoffs less than a minute later for a 3-1 advantage at 14:35.
Boston found itself in the box again, this time for too many men, but Paille did what he does best and provided a short-handed goal at 16:37 of the second period to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead.
It didn't take long for the Maple Leafs to cut the deficit again, as Kessel scored a power-play goal only 47 seconds into the third period. Rask made two big saves in succession but Boston's penalty killers couldn't clear the rebound, and Kessel capitalized. Rask was not happy after the play.
Krejci added an empty-net goal at 18:43.
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the Bruins leading 1-0 early in the second period, the Maple Leafs created a 2-on-1 and produced a quality scoring chance, but Rask made a timely, left-pad save on Joffrey Lupul at the five-minute mark of the period. That save proved crucial, as Boston scored less than a minute later for a 2-0 advantage.
'D' ME UP: With defenseman Andrew Ference back in the lineup after serving his one-game suspension in Game 2, Bruins coach Claude Julien was able to reunite his top defensive pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. Ference was paired with Johnny Boychuk, while Wade Redden and McQuaid played together.
SCRATCHES: With Ference back, rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch after making his Stanley Cup playoffs debut in Game 2. Also watching from press level for Game 3 were Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo and Aaron Johnson.
UP NEXT: The series continues Wednesday with Game 4 at Air Canada Centre.
On Sunday as the Bruins were boarding their bus for the airport to fly to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday, Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald and Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com caught up with Paille, and the Bruins winger didn't hold back on his assessment of the play.
"I haven't seen the video, but I know my head got hit. I'm not sure if it was shoulder or arm, or anything," said Paille. "He's a big hitter. I stood up and didn't fall. I think that's a big reason why [there was no penalty or suspension]."
At first glance it appeared to be an elbow to Paille's head, but in slow motion, it appears that it was Phaneuf's shoulder that made contact with Paille's head.
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference was suspended one game for an elbow to Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski in Game 1, although there was no penalty on that play, either. The league cited principal contact to the head as a reason for the suspension, so there was plenty of debate on the Internet on Saturday night and Sunday, suggesting that the same could be said for Phaneuf's hit on Paille. However, the league decided to not even review it.
"Plays like that are called [a penalty] normally. Not always, but normally," Paille said. "During a game when a play like that isn't called you get frustrated by it. It's just something that you can't control. You just want to move on and worry about the next game. It was frustrating at the moment, and it was something that caught us off guard."
BOSTON -- For the past two days, the Boston Bruins insisted their late-season funk was in the rearview mirror. There would be no more blown leads in the third period and no more lackluster starts. The skilled and physical Bruins would return.
Well, the Bruins kept their promises as they overcame an early Toronto Maple Leafs power-play goal and scored the next four goals, dominating the Leafs 4-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
David Krejci had a goal and two assists, Wade Redden had a goal and an assist and Nathan Horton and Johnny Boychuk both lit the lamp for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask looked solid between the pipes, making 19 saves, with James van Riemsdyk’s power-play goal in the opening period the only shot that beat him.
For the Leafs, James Reimer was under siege all night as the Bruins poured 40 shots on him.
Lucic-Krejci-Horton line clicks again: One of the big question marks heading into this series was whether Milan Lucic, Krejci and Horton could find their magic again. If Game 1 is any indication, the band is back together and the magic is there. In addition to Krejci’s three-point performance and Horton lighting the lamp, Lucic had two helpers and continued to look more like the Lucic who used a combination of grit, size and skating to earn two straight seasons of 20-plus goals. The chemistry was back as Horton and Lucic got to open spaces to benefit from Krejci’s playmaking skills, and Krejci looked a lot like the player who was a candidate for the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Bruins defense provides offensive boost: Prior to Game 1, coach Claude Julien lauded Redden for his recent play and puck-moving skills. Redden continued to impress with his goal and an assist, but the Bruins' entire defense did a great job of moving the puck and creating offense in Game 1. In addition to Boychuk's goal, Bruins defensemen helped in peppering Reimer and controlling neutral zone play.
Power play looks better: While the Bruins’ power play (1-for-5) can certainly still be better, it did convert once and moved the puck a lot better. The passes were crisp, and there was less hesitation. If that continues, the scoring production will increase.
Suspension coming for Ference? Andrew Ference could very well be sitting out a game or more after elbowing Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski in the head in the first period. No penalty was called, but the replay clearly shows an elbow to the head.
Bruins have two goals called back: Things could have been even worse for the Leafs if not for two Bruins goals being called back. The referees and replay officials got it right in calling back a Tyler Seguin shot that clearly rang off the post 1:10 into the second period. But Patrice Bergeron’s no-goal was a bit questionable as the referees claimed the whistle was blown before Bergeron pushed it into the net. But even if the refs were wrong, the rule states if they intended to blow it and didn’t do it in time, then it’s still not a goal.
Bad blood boils at end: In addition to Ference’s questionable hit to the head of Grabovski, there was plenty of hard hitting throughout the game. As time wound down in the third period and it was clear the Bruins would win, the Leafs decided to let the Bruins know they were still there, taking plenty of extra hits after the whistle and then stirring things up at the final buzzer. The result was a Chris Kelly-Leo Komarov fight. It should be a physical Game 2.
Hamilton and Peverley sit: Not surprisingly, Julien kept Dougie Hamilton in the press box as a healthy scratch. The defenseman struggled in his last few games of the regular season, and Julien seems to have opted to take the learning-from-up-top route he took with Seguin as a rookie to start the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. While Rich Peverley might have had an off season, one would think Julien would prefer playoff and Cup experience in the lineup instead of an inexperienced Kaspars Daugavins. But it was Daugavins playing with Kelly and Jaromir Jagr for Game 1.
Here’s what the rest of the lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
The Boston Bruins concluded their four-game road trip with a frustrating 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. The Bruins posted a 1-3 record on the road and return home to host the Maple Leafs on Monday night.
With the win, the Maple Leafs snapped a personal eight-game losing skid against the Bruins. Toronto needed only 13 shots and received goals from Nazem Kadri, Mikhail Grabovski and Frazer McLaren en route to victory. The Bruins created 33 shots, while defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference scored the goals for Boston.
After playing well with a 27-save performance to help Boston to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at Ottawa, Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin made his second consecutive start on Saturday. It's the first time in his Bruins career he's played back-to-back games. He didn't play the entire game, however, as Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to pull Khudobin after Toronto took a 3-0 lead at 1:34 of the third period. Tuukka Rask finished the game and made only two saves.
Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer made 31 saves.
Toronto gained a 1-0 lead at 4:58 of the first period. Kadri, who's had the scoring touch of late, received a nifty saucer pass by teammate Clarke MacArthur and beat Khudobin to the short side. With the goal, Kadri has nine points in his past four games.
The Maple Leafs gained a 2-0 lead when Mikhail Grabovski took a shot through a screen and beat Khudobin at 2:52 of the second period after a defensive breakdown by Boston.
The Maple Leafs went up 3-0 1:34 in the third period when McLaren snuck the puck past Khudobin, who was pulled in favor of Rask.
Only 56 seconds later, Seidenberg finally scored when his snap shot from the right point found its way through traffic and beat a screened Reimer to cut Boston's deficit to 3-1. It was Seidenberg's second goal in as many games and it served as a spark for the Bruins.
With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Julien pulled Rask for the extra attacker and it worked. The Bruins had sustained pressure when Ference's shot from the point found the back of the net to cut Boston's deficit to one goal, but it wasn't enough.
LINEUP: Defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who was recalled Friday from Providence, made his season debut for the Bruins against the Maple Leafs. His presence was needed since blueliner Johnny Boychuk is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Bartkowski was paired with Dennis Seidenberg. Forward Ryan Spooner remained in the lineup, as fellow forward Jordan Caron was a healthy scratch. Speaking of healthy scratches, forward Rich Peverley was back in the lineup after watching from press level last game against the Ottawa Senators. He was back on the wing, with Spooner in the middle and Jay Pandolfo on the other side. Late in the third period, Julien went with Peverley, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille as a line.
DROP 'EM: In a heavyweight bout, the Bruins' Shawn Thornton and the Maple Leafs' Colton Orr dropped the gloves on the ensuing faceoff after Toronto took a 1-0 lead at 5:00 of the first period. The two squared off at center ice and exchanged punches in a spirited bout. It was the sixth fighting major of the season for Thornton, and the 10th for Orr.
SAVE OF THE GAME: In the waning seconds of the first period, Boston had an opportunity to tie the game in the midst of a scramble in front of Reimer, but the goaltender made a left pad save on Horton to preserve the one-goal lead.
UP NEXT: Now that the Bruins' four-game road trip is complete, Boston will host the Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. on Monday at TD Garden.
BOSTON -- The Toronto Maple Leafs arrive in Boston with a 11-4-0 record in their past 15 games, including a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The Bruins have lost their past two games, and even coach Claude Julien admitted after the team’s morning skate Thursday that there are many areas Boston needs to clean up as it prepares to host the Maple Leafs at 7:05 tonight at TD Garden.
Earlier this season, the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 1-0 in Toronto, but it was soon after that game that the Leafs began their solid run.
“They’ve done a great job with that team,” Julien said. “The coaching staff, and you’ve got to give credit to a lot of people there because they are playing really well defensively and they’ve tightened up their game. Offensively, they’re still a skilled team, but they’re also doing the grunt work. They come at you hard.
“I’m one of those guys that believes they’re a legit contender -- no doubt about it. They play like one, and I’ve already told our guys, 'If you guys aren’t ready for a tough game tonight, then you’re making a big mistake.' "
Boston is 7-0-1 in its past eight games against the Maple Leafs, including wins in the past seven games against the Northeast Division opponent. This season, however, Toronto is playing a lot better than it did in 2011-2012.
“They have a whole new mentality over there,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “It’s a different group and it seems they have a lot of confidence right now.”
Anton Khudobin was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, meaning he probably will make the start against Toronto.
“It will be exciting and interesting because I’ve never played against Toronto,” Khudobin said. “If I’m playing, it’ll be fun.”
Boston’s past two losses have been devastating. The Bruins had a 3-2 lead in the third period at home against the Montreal Canadiens Sunday but lost 4-3. On Tuesday, Boston had a 3-0 lead before losing to the Washington Capitals 4-3 at Verizon Center.
“A win tonight would be nice,” Marchand said. “We know we have a lot of work to do ahead of us here and we’re obviously very upset with what happened, giving up leads in the third period both games. That’s not our team and we need to come out hard tonight, play our game, and prove we’re taking the right step forward.”
The Boston Bruins' goal during this lockout-shortened, 48-game season is to avoid consecutive losses, especially when they're playing a string of games like this week's stretch of four games in six nights.
The Bruins were able to avoid back-to-back losses with a 1-0 win over their Northeast Division rival the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Boston had lost to the Buffalo Sabres 7-4 on Thursday night at TD Garden.
With the victory, Boston finishes the week with a 3-1-0 record.
Boston's Chris Bourque scored the lone goal of the game at 8:54 of the first period. He crashed the net with reckless abandon and scored his first goal as a Bruin. His goal celebration was similar to the one his father, Ray, used to employ during his Hall of Fame career.
Bourque was a healthy scratch Thursday against the Sabres. Linemates Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly assisted on the goal.
After ungodly defensive breakdowns during the Sabres game, Boston played soundly in all three zones against the Maple Leafs. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season with 21 saves.
The Bruins' penalty kill has been solid all season and it needed to be once again in the third period on Saturday. With Boston holding a 1-0 lead, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was called for interference at 11:24. The Bruins killed off that penalty, but Tyler Seguin was called for slashing at 17:35 with just more than two minutes to play in regulation. Toronto pulled its goalie for a two-man advantage, but the Bruins stifled the Maple Leafs' attack and held on for the victory.
Boston continued its dominance over Toronto. After sweeping the six-game series in 2011-2012, the Bruins are now 7-0-0 in their past seven meetings against the Maple Leafs. Also, Boston is 24-5-5 in the past 34 games against Toronto. At Air Canada Centre, the Bruins are 13-2-3 in the past 18 games.
INJURED: Bruins forward Brad Marchand fell hard into the end boards behind the Toronto net late in the second period and was clearly shaken up on the play. He skated to the bench on his own and was able to finish the period. When the third period began, however, Marchand was not on the bench and did not return for the remainder of the game. It appeared to be a left shoulder injury. Gregory Campbell played the final 20 minutes of regulation in Marchand's spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Seguin.
WAVED OFF: With the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead with 8:28 remaining in the first period, it appeared as though the Maple Leafs had tied the game when defenseman Cody Franson rifled in a shot, but it was disallowed as the referee called goaltender interference. The Bruins were also denied a possible tally when Seguin was called for incidental contact with Toronto goaltender James Reimer at 6:30 of the second period.
MERLOT-LESS: Without the presence of Thornton (concussion) and Daniel Paille (upper body) in the lineup, Tardif and Lane MacDermid served as the wingers for centerman Gregory Campbell.
TEAM TOUGHNESS: With Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton back in Boston resting from a concussion he suffered in a fight with the Buffalo Sabres' John Scott last Thursday at TD Garden, MacDermid was more than willing to drop the gloves for Boston Saturday night. At 2:42 of the first period, the rookie went toe to toe with Mark Fraser in an even bout. The two went at it again at 15:21 of the second period, only this time MacDermid got the best of Fraser.
UP NEXT: After four games in six nights, the Bruins finally get a decent break. The team will have Super Bowl Sunday off before being back on the practice ice Monday and Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Of course, a lot of attention will be on Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who will be playing in front of his hometown team. In fact, all three players involved in the now-infamous 2009 trade between the Bruins and Maple Leafs will be on display with Hamilton, Bruins forward Tyler Seguin and Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel.
The Maple Leafs acquired Kessel from Boston on Sept. 18, 2009, in exchange for Toronto's first- and second-round picks in the 2010 NHL draft, which turned into Seguin and Jared Knight, respectively. Not only that, the Bruins also received the Leafs' first-round pick in 2011, which ended up being Hamilton.
On Saturday, Hamilton will be on the ice along with Seguin and Kessel at Air Canada Centre.
"It's exciting," Hamilton said. "I grew up watching games in that rink and dreamt of playing there in the NHL. I guess I always dreamt of playing for the Leafs, but as I've gotten older, it will be cooler to be on the other side."
To say the Bruins have dominated the Maple Leafs in recent history would be a huge understatement.
This season, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle and the Maple Leafs are 4-3-0 for eight points. They're playing better hockey.
"With Randy there, they're certainly a team that's competing very hard and he's going to get the most out of his players -- he always has," said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
The Leafs already have wins over Montreal, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Washington. The Bruins have a chance to end a tough stretch of four games in six nights on a positive note with a win in Toronto on Saturday night.
"Every game for us has got to be viewed as almost a must-win and tough games," Julien said. "You can't take anybody for granted. [Thursday's loss] was a perfect example, we didn't take [Buffalo] for granted, it just means anybody can win on any given night.
"So we have to make sure we go in there with the right intentions, and doing that, and then coming out with a win gives us a 3-1 record this week with four games in six days. That would be a pretty good accomplishment. If not, we finish .500, which for us is not good enough."
The Maple Leafs do present a challenge for Boston. This season could be different, and the Bruins understand that.
"They're playing with a lot of confidence and they're beating some really good teams," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "We've got to be ready for them. They're skating well and playing with a lot of energy. For sure, it's going to be a tough game."
Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri leads the team in scoring with three goals and four assists for seven points. Kessel has four assists with a minus-2 rating.
"They've been playing well," said Bruins forward Gregory Campbell. "They've bought into their system and their coach has them playing really well. Good teams never want to lose two games in a row, so it's important for us in another divisional game, a game that's attainable if we work hard. It would make it a pretty good week for us with a pretty tough schedule, a tough week, but it's not going to be easy. I think we're up for the challenge."
Boston acquired the veteran defenseman from Toronto in February, and one of the reasons he waived his no-trade clause was for an opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.
He said he’s looking forward to that chance with the Bruins:
The Bruins will send minor league forward Joe Colborne, a first-round pick in 2011 and another conditional second-round draft pick to Toronto.
The Bruins needed to clear cap space to absorb the remainder of Kaberle's $4.25 million salary this season, so they turned around and traded forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers for center Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik.
Kaberle, 32, has spent his entire career in Toronto and has made four All-Star teams. This season Kaberle has three goals and 35 assists and is a minus-2 in 58 games. He will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Click HERE for more. We'll have more updates throughout the day.
“There is no barrier to that,” Burke said about dealing with the Bruins. “There are no hard feelings, there’s no sense of, ‘Oh, we have to even the score somehow.’ If we can make a deal with the Bruins that makes sense for both teams, we’re going to do it.”
Bruins president Cam Neely went on the station later Tuesday and acknowledged that the Bruins were “close” to completing a trade but he would not give specifics.
Burke wouldn’t get into specifics either or comment on Tomas Kaberle, who has been linked to the Bruins in trade rumors and whom the Bruins almost acquired in a 2009 draft-day trade. According to sportsnet.ca, Kaberle has told the Leafs that he'd waive his no-trade clause only to go to Boston.
Burke did say, however, that the Toronto first-round pick now owned by Boston wasn’t in play on any trade discussions with the Bruins, and earlier in the day Burke stated that he would like roster players in any future deals.
“We put the third-round pick in play last night,” Burke said. “As soon as we had it, we put it in play to try to get a forward back. We’re not throwing in the towel here, and we’re not done yet, either.”
Burke has 10 draft picks stored away for June but he reiterated he’s not looking to add more. Instead, he said he wants roster players that can help his team now and next season.
“We’re not going with 10 if I have my way,” the Leafs GM said. “We’re going to try and do something with some of those picks. Most draft picks, you don’t see the player for three years, and if we can do something shorter term, we’re going to do it.”
So what does that mean for the Bruins, and possibly acquiring Kaberle? It could mean that Chiarelli will have to dangle a young roster player and/or veteran as trade bait. But that isn’t the thing Chiarelli must keep in mind as he proceeds toward the Feb. 28 trade deadline. As pointed out here last night, the time may be now for Chiarelli and other general managers to make a move, because the phone lines are buzzing after what Burke did over the past week -- sending defenseman Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim Feb. 9 for Joffrey Lupul, prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional 2013 pick and then forward Kris Versteeg to the Flyers for 2011 first- and third-round picks.
“I know from talking to a couple of other GMs that our trade set off a big surge of phone activity last night,” Burke said. “There’s only so many quality players available at the deadline, and I know there was a frantic response to this trade, but we’ve been busy on the phones now for a while.”
Kaberle was unavailable to the media following his team’s morning skate at TD Garden on Tuesday, but Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek said the puck-moving blueliner is taking the trade rumors in stride.
“He’s used to it, that’s for sure,” Komisarek said of his Czech teammate. “It’s hard for sure but it’s part of the game and we’re all dealing with it.”
Komisarek was asked if he thought Kaberle could help a team like the Bruins.
"I’ll put it this way, he is probably one of the best I’ve played with and will help any team if he gets traded away or signs somewhere in the offseason,” Komisarek said of the impending unrestricted free agent. “He’s so smart out there and his skill level is through the roof. It’s a pleasure to play with him and watch him every day on the ice.”
“It’s been a while since we’ve had four games in a week and a half, so it definitely felt a little bit longer than it was,” Paille said. “I’m glad to be back.”
Paille will be back when the Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at TD Garden. Prior to his league-mandated hiatus, Paille had 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points in 25 games for Boston this season.
He was suspended after he caught Dallas Stars forward Raymond Sawada with a blindside hit, while backchecking. Paille, who is skating on the line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, said after Tuesday’s morning skate that he will not change his game because of his recent situation.
“Obviously I’m going to think about certain things, but I’m going to try to stay physical, especially playing with the line I am now,” he said. “It’s how I have to play. I just have to be aware of certain plays and try not to extend the arm out.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien expects Paille to play his game and hopes he’s not timid on the ice.
“You hope he’s not,” Julien said. “You hope he’s aware of what he can do, and the one thing you want to make sure he does, and that’s part of our job, is you’ve got to go out and play with confidence. You can’t hold back and you have to be aware of what you can and can’t do.
“I want him to continue to be aggressive. I want him to continue to skate and forecheck and be on top of guys. I want that part of his game to be there because those are the qualities he brings to our hockey club, so that can’t disappear.”
Due to the suspension, Paille forfeited $23,118. He’s received encouragement and support from his teammates, too.
“I’ve had great support from a lot of people,” he said. “Guys in the room told me to keep my head up. It’s been an easy process for me. Obviously it was tough to sit out for a week, but I’m glad to be coming back today and playing tonight.”
He’s done that.
The Bruins didn’t bring him here to drop the gloves.
He’s done that.
Horton dropped the gloves with Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf at 10:58 of the second period of the Bruins' 2-0 win Thursday. Right off a face-off, the two went at it as Horton dragged his adversary to the ice. While Phaneuf was lying on his back, he threw a punch and connected. Horton didn't like that too much and returned fire, resulting in a 10-minute misconduct. Horton’s quickly proving he can handle every role in Boston.
“It’s part of the game,” Horton said. “It just kind of happened. Honestly, it was just part of the game.
“I want to do anything to help give my teammates a boost. Obviously we were winning, but just pick the right spots I guess and it kind of happens.”
Phaneuf didn’t think much of their fight, either.
“It’s part of the game,” he said. “We were talking there and it was kind of a mutual thing. He gave me a shot earlier in the game, and I gave him one back. I’ve battled against him for a long time. I’ve known him for a long time. He plays hard, and like I said, it’s part of the game.”
Your request cannot be processed at the current time. Please check back as we will work to correct the problem as quickly as possible.
Please feel free to send us any comments or feedback.
Your request cannot be processed at the current time. Please check back as we will work to correct the problem as quickly as possible.
Please feel free to send us any comments or feedback.