Bruins Live Blog: B’s Continue Domination of Leafs, Maintain Top Spot in Division with 4-1 Win at Garden

Bruins Live Blog: B's Continue Domination of Leafs, Maintain Top Spot in Division with 4-1 Win at GardenFinal, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins continue their domination of the Leafs with another impressive showing. They carry their strong play from November into December and maintain their hold on the top spot in the Northeast Division. 

Boston is now 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and move three points ahead of the Leafs for first place in the division with two games in hand on Toronto.

They remain three points behind Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but can close that gap on Monday when they travel to Pittsburgh.

Third Period, 17:44, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins can't convert that power-play chance and are 0 for 2 on the man advantage in this one. That's about the only thing that's gone wrong for Boston.

Third Period, 15:44, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins now go on the power play as Clarke MacArthur is called for tripping.

Third Period, 14:45, Bruins 4-1: The gloves come off for the first time as Joe Corvo takes on Joey Crabb. It's Corvo's first fight as a Bruin, a spirited but sloppy affair without too much landing by either combatant.

Third Period, 14:26, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins add another, this time with Nathan Horton providing the snipe from the top of the left circle off a David Krejci feed.

Third Period, 11:10, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins with a monster shift from the Krejci line keeping the Leafs hemmed in their own zone for several long minutes. The Leafs are finally forced to ice the puck, then call their timeout to rest their players.

Third Period, 8:28, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins kill that penalty off as well, with the PK again creating chances shorthanded. this time it was Kelly with the threat, but his shot clanged off the outside of the post from the left wing.

Third Period, 6:28, Bruins 3-1: Former Bruins prospect Joe Colborne makes a drive to the net. Rask is able to make the stop, but Colborne draws a hooking call on Chara and the Leafs will be going back on the power play.

Third Period, 3:06, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins add a big insurance goal as Johnny Boychuk blasts one in.

Boychuk fired it home from the top of the right circle, beating Reimer inside the near post past his glove hand.

Third Period, 2:33, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins doing a good job of not sitting back and pushing the pace early in the third. they've already forced Toronto to ice the puck twice in the opening minutes of the frame.

Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-1: The final frame is under way here at the Garden, with the Bruins looking to close out a win over the Leafs and retain the top spot in the Northeast Division.

Second Intermission Notes: The Leafs have made this one much more of a game than the previous three meetings this season, but the Bruins still have things where they want them, leading 2-1 going into the third. Boston is 11-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.

It was a better period for the Bruins in many regards beyond just the two goals they scored. They did much better on draws and now lead 19-16 (54 percent) in that category, thanks largely to Patrice Bergeron's 11-3.

Zdeno Chara has been a force with four hits and two blocked shots in 15:29. he's been matched against Phil Kessel most of the night, and Kessel is again scoreless and a minus-1 against his old club, though he does have a game-high four shots. Kessel is now minus-13 with just two goals in 16 games against the Bruins since being dealt to Toronto.

 

End Second Period, Bruins 2-1: A solid middle frame for the Bruins, who scored a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Second Period, 18:51, Bruins 2-1: Lucic with a turnover in the neutral zone that leads to a Toronto scoring chance, but he makes up for it by burying Joffrey Lupul with a hit in the corner.

Second Period, 17:33, Bruins 2-1: Strong PK work by the Bruins, especially Bergeron and Marchand up front. That pair spent most of their shift in the Toronto end and created several shorthanded scoring chances.

Second Period, 15:33, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins will have to kill off another penalty as David Krejci is called for holding.

Second Period, 13:11, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins strike a moment later as Chris Kelly stays red hot with his 10th of the season.

Rich Peverley threads the puck through a slew of bodies in front to Kelly for the shot at the left post.

Second Period, 12:32, 1-1: One too many passes on a 2-on-1 break by Seguin and Marchand, as Seguin can't control the return pass at the right post.

Second Period, 10:11, 1-1: The Bruins successfully kill off the penalty, with Johnny Boychuk breaking up one rush with a beautiful hip check on Tyler Bozak.

Second Period, 8:11, 1-1: The Bruins will have a big penalty to kill as Zdeno Chara is sent to the box for tripping.

Second Period, 5:08, 1-1: The Leafs answer right back as Mikhail Grabovski scores on a one-timer from the bottom of teh right circle.

Second Period, 4:20, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first as the newly-resigned David Krejci fires one home from the right slot.

Milan Lucic got the puck down low to Nathan Horton, who in turn feed the puck out from the left of the goal to the onrushing Krejci. Krejci beat Reimer inside the far post with a quick shot.

Second Period, 3:31, 0-0: Slow going early in the second, but the Bruins nearly had a chance as Marchand forced a turnover but couldn't get back onside as Seguin would have had a chance at a break in.

Second Period, 0:00, 0-0: The middle frame is under way here at the Garden, where the Bruins and Leafs are still searching for the night's first goal.

The Bruins have 12 seconds left on their first power-play chance to start the period.

First Intermission Notes: There was no scoring in the first, but there were plenty of chances. the Bruins had the better of them, but James Reimder has looked solid in his first action since being injured on Oct. 22.

Tuukka Rask hasn't been as busy in the Boston net, but has made the stops he's needed to make. The bruins have a 10-7 edge in shots through one period.

Phil Kessel remains snake-bit against his old club. He does have a pair of shots, including one strong bid breaking in from the left wing, but so far has not been able to break through. He was also on the receiving end of one of the night's biggest hits as Zdeno Chara belted him into the boards.

Other than that, there hasn't been a lot of physical play. The Leafs lead 8-7 in hits, but there has been nothing close to any rough stuff despite the divisional rivals playing the back end of a home-and-home series.

Quiet first period for former Bruins prospect Joe Colborne, who is making his Garden debut as an NHler. he did play here in last year's first rookie game against the Islanders. Colborne had no shots in 4:21 of ice time in the first.

End First Period, 0-0: The opening frame ends with the clubs still locked in a scoreless stalemate as Tuukka Rask and James Reimer have been up to the task so far.

First Period, 18:11, 0-0: The Leafs negate that power play quickly, with Clarke MacArthur joining Lucic in the box for tripping. It will be 4 on 4 for the next 1:38.

First Period, 17:49, 0-0: The Bruins get called for the game's first penalty with Milan Lucic sent to the box for tripping.

First Period, 14:31, 0-0: Lot of pressure from the Kessel line on that shift, but the Bruins are able to eventually clear it and the Leafs en up icing the puck in return.

First Period, 11:47, 0-0: The Bruins with another close call as Marchand steals an errant pass along the right boards in the Toronto zone and centers to bergeron for a quick one-timer from the slot, but Reimer makes the stop. Reimer has looked very sharp in his first game back from injury.

First Period, 7:00, 0-0: Zdeno Chara puts a big hit on Phil kessel along the boards, drawing a huge cheer from the Garden faithful, who had earlier drowned out an attempted "Go Leafs Go" chant from the Toronto fans on hand.

First Period, 4:49, 0-0: The Bruins threaten again with Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly breaking i on a 2 on 1, but Peverley's pass is broken up and Reimer holds the fort on the ensuing scramble in the crease.

First Period, 2:01, 0-0: The Bruins with the first chance of the game as a Toronto turnover in their own end leads to a Zdeno Chara shot from the high slot, but it gets knocked down in front.

First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And we're under way here at the Garden, with the Bruins and leafs battling for first place in the Northeast Division.

7 p.m.: The Bruins will start Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin for this one, with Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid on defense and Tuukka Rask in goal.

The Leafs let Phil Kessel avoid one round of boos at least, as he's not starting. Instead it's Clarke MacArthur, Tim Connolly and Matt Frattin up front, with Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson on the blue line and James Reimer in net.

6:55 p.m.: The Leafs have officially scratched Colton Orr, Jay Rosehill and defenseman Keith Aulie.

The Bruins do not have any scratches with just 20 players currently on the roster.

6:50 p.m.: The Bruins, by the way, are wearing their road whites at home for this one as Toronto requested permission to wear their blue alternate jerseys, which are throwback sweaters from their last Cup in 1966-67.

6:48 p.m.: Don't expect a lot of rough stuff in this one. Both Colton Orr and Jay Rosehill, the Leafs' primary enforcers, did not skate in warm-ups and appear to be scratches for this one. Mike Brown is already on injured reserve, and even Mike Komisarek is sidelined.

The only deterrent to the Bruins running the Leafs out of the building will be the referees and Toronto's power play if Boston takes too many penalties while getting physical with what is an extremely soft Toronto lineup.  

6:45 p.m.: With Jordan Caron and Steven Kampfer still in Providence, the Bruins have no extra bodies on the ice for warm-ups and won't have any scratches for this one.

The Bruins line combinations remain the same:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin

Pouliot-Kelly-Peverley

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Defense pairs:

Chara-Boychuk

Seidenberg-Corvo

Ference-McQuaid

6:30 p.m.: In a bit of a surprise, Tuukka Rask leads the Bruins onto the ice for warm-ups. He'll get the start in this one instead of Tim Thomas.

James Reimer leads Toronto out and will make his return in this game as expected.

5:40 p.m.: The Bruins and Leafs will close out their home-and-home series in a little over an hour here at the Garden.

The Bruins are 3-0-0 against Toronto this year, outscoring the Leafs 19-5. But they'll be facing Toronto No. 1 goalie James Reimer for the first time in this one. Reimer is returning for his first game since being hit in the head by Montreal's Brian Gionta on Oct. 22.

The Bruins are expected to counter with Tim Thomas, who was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate. The NHL's No. 1 star for November is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .944 save percentage against the Leafs this year.

8 a.m. ET: The Bruins made history in November, going 12-0-1 to post the franchise's first complete month without a regulation loss since January 1969.

"That's pretty special to go the entire month without a loss," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "I've been on the flip side of that, having gone an entire month without a win. So it's definitely a better feeling, a better atmosphere in the locker room. But that was the month of November. It's early on and we know there's lots of hockey to be played. It's a stepping stone and hopefully we can have a successful December."

On Saturday, they'll look to continue their winning ways in December when they host Toronto in the back end of a home-and-home series. Those back-to-back clashes are all too rare in today's NHL, but the Bruins appreciate the opportunity to take on Toronto twice in a row.

"I remember in junior, it was back-to-back, home-and-home every weekend," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "It creates that almost miniseries in the middle of the season and that fire in the middle of the season. I think this one is great especially because there's a lot on the line playing the Leafs with it being a fight for first spot in the division. It's definitely fun that we get to play a team like this in a home and home."

All the meetings with Toronto this year have been pretty fun for the Bruins, who have outscored the Leafs 19-5 in the first three clashes. The Bruins took Wednesday's matchup in Toronto 6-3 to take over first place in the Northeast Division. Boston also beat the Leafs 6-2 in Boston on Oct. 20 and 7-0 in Toronto on Nov. 5.

The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.

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