On the positive side, without both Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara, the B's skated hard are played with good intensity for most (not all) of the game. The Sturm–Bergeron–Recchi line was a monster tonight, accounting for all three of the Bruins goals. Despite allowing four goals, Tim Thomas played very well in net.
In this game, you could tell that the absence of Chara was much bigger than that of Savard. Let's hope Chara is back soon, because this back line in not the same without him.
If this game had happened during the first month of the season and the B's were able to come away with a point without Savard and Chara, then I would have considered that a win. However, from where the B's stand now, they really needed two points in this one.
The Bruins are back in action on Thursday night, when they will be in Philadelphia to face the Flyers. That will be another big game for the B's as they continue to battle for a playoff spot.
Overtime, Maple Leafs 4-3: The Maple Leafs aggressive attack leads to a goal for Kulemin.
Overtime, 1:19, 3-3: Thomas with a pair of beautiful saves.
Overtime, 2:19, 3-3: The Bergeron line is on the ice. Here is the B's best chance.
Overtime, 3:19, 3-3: Save by Thomas! A blown tire leads to a 3-on-2 rush for Toronto, but Timmy comes up with another great save.
Overtime, 4:19, 3-3: A little 4-on-4 action. The B's need to keep an eye on Kessel, who has been very active these past few minutes.
End of third period, 3-3: Krejci, with some dazzling stickwork, carries the puck into the offensive zone, forcing the puck through a defender's stick to a teammate, who is able to redirect the bouncing puck on net. Gustavsson makes a solid save.
Third period, 1:17, 3-3: Great action. Can the B's net one?
Third period, 2:17, 3-3: Timmy! For the second time in a row, Thomas denies Kessel on a great opportunity.
Third period, 2:38, 3-3: Toronto is definitely playing for the win, so the B's need to be careful on their attack.
Third period, 4:09, 3-3: Thomas stones Kessel. Toronto wins a faceoff in its zone and catches the Bruins defenders cheating in, giving Kessel a great rush. But Thomas stones him!
Third period, 4:25, 3-3: Recchi is playing like a man among boys. It looks like there are two No. 28's on the ice. When the Bergeron line is on the ice, the Maple Leafs are doing everything they can to keep the puck out of the net. Can that line score a fourth goal?
Third period, 6:27, 3-3: The Bergeron line with another great shift, but they are unable to get a good shot off.
Third period, 8:54, 3-3: Great effort by the Krejci line just now. That is exactly what the B's need. The Bruins' top two lines have given the Maple Leafs trouble throughout the game.
Third period, 9:58, 3-3: Alright, let's regroup here. Let's remember who the more talented team is and finish this game off.
Third period, 10:26, 3-3: There wasn't even much going on for the Leafs' third goal. The Bruins are in good position, but they look just a little slower than Toronto. Where is the hunger? Where is the passion? That third goal was way too easy.
Third period, 12:47, 3-3: The Maple Leafs tie it up very, very quickly.
Third period, 13:19, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins are playing like a team uncomfortable with a lead. They want to keep attacking, but they have given Toronto numbers twice.
Third period, 14:19, Bruins 3-2: Recchi and Sturm have been credited with assists on Bergeron's goal. Of course, that could change any minute with these scorekeepers. The Bergeron line has accounted for all three of the Bruins goals this game.
Third period, 16:53, Bruins 3-2: Bruins goal! Just what they were looking for, a quick goal. It was Bergeron who scored.
Third period, 18:13, 2-2: Almost a special goal by Wheeler, who batted a puck out of the air that went just wide of the net.
Third period, 19:51, 2-2: Here we go. The B's need to make a stand right now and come away with two points. Let's see if they can get this third period started off with a quick goal.
End of second period, 2-2: I stand corrected. They just changed the scoring and Kessel has been credited with an assist on the Gunnarsson goal. No moral victories here.
End of second period, 2-2: If you were watching this game and did not look at the scoreboard, you would assume the Bruins were up by at least two goals. They have clearly out-skated the Maple Leafs for the vast majority of the game, but have only been able to net a pair.
Just saw a replay of the B's second goal and what I thought was a save by Gustavsson that bounced to Sturm was actually a beautiful tap-pass by Recchi, right to Sturm.
Recchi has lost some speed over the years, but his skill and mind for the game are still very strong.
End of second period, 2-2: On the goal, Tim Thomas was screened by several players and it looks like the puck deflected off of someone's pad. It was a good shot, but the B's have had several chances much better than that and have been unable to convert. If it makes you feel better, Kessel has not factored in on either of Toronto's goals. (Doesn't do anything for me.)
Second period, 1:12, 2-2: That is a real tough goal for the B's, as Gunnarsson scores from just inside the blue line.
Second period, 2:20, Bruins 2-1: Thomas gets run over trying to make a save and no penalty is called. Am I watching the same game the refs are watching? Fortunately no harm done.
Second period, 3:08, Bruins 2-1: Like magic, the Bruins are able to keep the puck out of the net. Thomas made several saves, but the puck ended up spinning dangerously in front of the net before the B's are able to clear it away. That looked like a sure goal.
Second period, 3:55, Bruins 2-1: The Maple Leafs are able to kill of the rest of the second penalty.
Second period, 5:01, Bruins 2-1: Marco Sturm gets the second goal, scoring on a puck that deflects to the right of the net.
Second period, 6:01, Bruins 2-1: Bruins score! Boston gets a 5-on-3 and immediately converts. Plus, they are still on the power play for another 1:30.
Second period, 8:12, 1-1: The B's are skating very well, but their scoring troubles bite them again. They have had some terrific opportunities, but they need to cash in. Good news — the B's will be going on the power play for the next two minutes.
Second period, 9:26, 1-1: Toronto scores the equalizer. It is Wayne Primeau with the goal.
Second period, 10:29, Bruins 1-0: More great action by the B's. Wideman with a wrister off the sidebar. Boston needs to net one of these.
Second period, 12:32, Bruins 1-0: Oh, the B's just miss a second goal. Ryder deflects a shot that goes just over the crossbar and actually lands on the upper netting of the goal. The Bruins continue to get good scoring chances.
Second period, 12:44, Bruins 1-0: A pair of great saves by Toronto's Gustavsson. Sturm fired a shot from the left wing and Recchi got a good look at the rebound, but it was not meant to be.
Second period, 14:53, Bruins 1-0: Sturm just got sandwiched by two Leafs and somehow gave better than he received. Fantastic.
Second period, 16:36, Bruins 1-0: They just showed a replay of Cooke's hit on Savard. Ugly — very ugly.
Second period, 19:48, Bruins 1-0: The second period is underway. Let's see if the B's can match their intensity from the first period.
End of first period, Bruins 1-0: Great first period for the Bruins. They were the more aggressive team from the drop of the puck, as evidenced by their 9-2 edge in face-offs won. They only outshot the Maple Leafs 10-5, but they certainly had more quality scoring chances. Plus, they were able to put one in the back of the net, which is what really counts.
The only negative was the three penalties. Nothing crazy, but three penalties in a period is never a positive. They did respond very well, killing off all three, including being shorthanded 5-on-3 for a full minute.
End of first period, Bruins 1-0: The B's take a well-deserved 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
First period, 0:55, Bruins 1-0: The Maple Leafs are starting to pick things up late in the first. The B's need to hold on here and take a lead into intermission.
First period, 1:43, Bruins 1-0: Another penalty killed off by the B's. This one came with some drama, but Tim Thomas was up for the challenge.
First period, 3:46, Bruins 1-0: Good, consistent offensive action, including a fourth line that is playing very well.
Unfortunately, the B's will be shorthanded for the next two minutes after Lucic is called for hooking.
First period, 6:35, Bruins 1-0: Bruins are looking very good. Puck control is probably about even, but the Maple Leafs are being kept around the boards while the B's are getting good opportunities.
First period, 8:34, Bruins 1-0: Boston is really attacking well, getting some good looks on net. Stuart just fired one off Gustavsson that rebounded out front, but the B's could not squeeze it in.
First period, 10:34, Bruins 1-0: Toronto is being really aggressive at the blue line, which sets up a pair of 2-on-1 opportunities for the B's, but they are not able to convert.
First period, 11:55, Bruins 1-0: Bruins do a terrific job of killing off two overlapping penalties. The Maple Leafs had an advantage for three straight minutes, including a 5-on-3 advantage for one minute. Great job, even without Chara.
First period, 14:27, Bruins 1-0: Bruins are down two skaters with Stuart and Wheeler taking penalties, on a 5-3 the bad way for the next minute.
First period, 15:26, Bruins 1-0: Terrific goal. Bergeron cleanly won the faceoff, allowing a good look on goal from the point. Jonas Gustavsson made the initial save, but left the puck right out in front of the net, where Recchi pounced on it. Seidenberg and Sturm picked up assists.
First period, 16:41, Bruins 1-0: Bruins score! That's how you get it started. It was Mark Recchi who deposited a deflection into the back of the net.
First period, 17:34, 0-0: Toronto riffles a shot off the post. That was a little close for comfort.
First period, 19:34, 0-0: The puck is down and the B's are underway in Toronto.
7:08 p.m.: Naoko Funayama just interviewed David Krejci on the ice, and Krejci put it perfectly when he told her, "We are in the playoffs right now, so it is in our hands." The Bruins currently hold the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
6:55 p.m.: With Savard and Chara both out, the Bruins need others to step up. A nice first-shift hit on Phil Kessel could definitely help set the tone.
In four games against the B's this season, Kessel does not have a single point. That's a streak the B's want to keep alive.
6:15 p.m.: After the morning skate, Claude Julien announced that Zdeno Chara will miss Tuesday's game with a "lower body injury."
6:12 p.m.: Tim Thomas will be in net for the B's on Tuesday night. He has played very well over the past three games.
6:05 p.m.: Courtesy of Naoko Funayama, here are the Bruins' projected lines from their morning skate:
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–Vladimir Sobotka–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Don’t be surprised to see Claude shake these lines up if things are not going well.
As for the defense, that is anyone's guess.
5:09 p.m.: The Bruins travel to Toronto to take on Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs for the penultimate time this season. Less than a week ago, the B's downed Toronto in Boston in a shootout. This is the third game of a tough seven-game road trip for the B's, and they need to pick up two points against teams like the Maple Leafs if they plan on making the playoffs.
First and foremost, the Bruins must find a way to score more goals. They still rank last in the NHL, averaging only 2.31 goals per game. Toronto presents a great opportunity for the B's to get their scoring legs back; the Maple Leafs are tied with Edmonton for the most goals allowed this season.
Fortunately for Boston, both its goalies have played very well this season. Tuukka Rask is second in the NHL with a 2.14 goals against average, while Tim Thomas is 14th in the league with a 2.47 GAA. The problem is that they need to play flawlessly to come away with a win, but you cannot expect to make a living in the NHL beating teams 2-1.
On the injury front, the Bruins will take the ice without center Marc Savard, who will miss his 24th game of the season. Savard has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 concussion (Grade 3 is the most severe). He will be reevaluated in a few days, but expect Savard to miss at least two to four weeks. When it comes to head injuries, you always want to be safe.
It looks like Rask will dress for this game, but no word on who will start in net.
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