Tuukka Rask Leads Bruins to Win in Toronto to Close Out Impressive Road Trip


Tuukka Rask Leads Bruins to Win in Toronto to Close Out Impressive Road Trip Finals, Bruins 2-1: It got a little scary in the third, but Tuukka Rask made Boston's one-goal lead hold up as the Bruins close out an impressive road trip with a 2-1 win in Toronto.

The Bruins take eight of the 10 possible points on the trip, going 3-0-2. They also keep two more points away from the Leafs, strengthening the draft pick Boston will receive in June to close out the Phil Kessel deal.

Kessel had a strong game with eight shots on goal (and 15 shot attempts) in 20:35, but still has not scored a goal against his old team in nine games against Boston.

But the trade that will haunt Toronto more in this one was the 2006 swap of Rask for Andrew Raycroft. Rask finished with 36 saves, half of which came when he stopped all 18 shots he faced in the third, to bounce back from Saturday's early exit against Buffalo.

The Bruins return home to host Minnesota on Thursday.

Third Period, 19:22, Bruins 2-1: Krejci has a chance to ice it, but his soft backhander sails just wide of the open net with Reimer pulled for the extra attacker.

Third Period, 18:30, Bruins 2-1: Savard almost gets too cute with a between the legs pass to Lucic that leads to a Toronto break the other way, but Chara helps cover for him. 

Third Period, 17:02, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins haven't been able to give Rask any cushion to work with, but he continues to pile up the saves as Toronto mounts more and more pressure. 

Third Period, 14:41, Bruins 2-1: The Leafs continue to press the attack, outshooting Boston 15-8 in the third and 34-32 overall. But Rask has looked like his old self, making 33 saves so far to keep the Bruins in the lead.

Third Period, 13:51, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins finally get a bit of a counterattack going, but Blake Wheeler shoots high off a 3-on-2 break.

Third Period, 11:10, Bruins 2-1: Bruins doing a good job of blocking shots out front, not so good at clearing the puck to relieve the pressure on Rask.

Third Period, 9:06, Bruins 2-1: After Rask makes another big save, Marchand wins another race to negate an icing and sets up Thornton in front, but Reimer deflects it up into the netting.

Third Period, 6:20, Bruins 2-1: Rask has gotten stronger as the game has gone on. Makes you wonder if the same would have happened if Julien stuck with him after the first in Buffalo on Saturday.

Third Period, 4:16, Bruins 2-1: Rask comes up huge, making three saves on a mad scramble in front. The first two came on Kessel, who moved around Kampfer for a chance in front and a rebound, then Rask reached back along the goal line to rob Tyler Bozak on a third shot.

Third Period, 2:57, Bruins 2-1: Some sloppy play returns to Boston's game as Thornton makes a rare miscue by coughing up the puck in front of his own net. Grabovski pounced on the loose puck in the slot, but Rask makes the save.

Third Period, 0:33, Bruins 2-1: Reimer looks behind him after making a save on Seguin, but the puck stays out. Seguin's bid from the slot came off a rebound of a Chara blast.

Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-1: The final frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to close out their five-game road trip with a victory.

The trends are now in Boston's favor, with the Bruins 15-0-0 when leading after two periods this season. The fact the Bruins have outscored opponents 45-18 in the third no doubt a factor in that stat. Toronto is 1-16-2 when trailing after two this season.

Second Intermission Notes: A much better effort from the Bruins in the second paid off with a pair of goals as the Bruins took their first lead of the night.

Boston put plenty of pressure on Toronto with 17 shots, but limiting the Leafs to eight at the other end was equally important, as Boston had just two giveaways after eight in the first period.

Nathan Horton ended his drought with his first goal in 10 games, then added an assist on Marc Savard's second goal of the year. Milan Lucic also had a helper for his first point in eight games. The Bruins need that top line to get going again.

The Bruins appeared to get a bit more involved physically, though the stats didn't really bear that out. Toronto had an 8-1 edge in hits in the second (16-4 overall), but there was more energy from the Bruins. that was evident on the second goal, which began with a hustle play by Horton to negate an icing.

Phil Kessel remains snake-bit against the Bruins. He has five shots so far in 13:51, but still has no goals in nine games against Boston.

End Second Period, Bruins 2-1: Forty minutes are in the books, and the second 20 were much stronger for the Bruins.

Boston outshot Toronto 17-8 and scored the only two goals of the period to take a one-goal lead into the third.

Second Period, 19:04, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins have a bid to extend the lead as Bergeron and Seguin break in on a 2-on-1. Bergeron keeps the puck and shoots from the left wing, but Reimer stabs it with the glove.

Second Period, 15:30, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins take their first lead after some excellent work by the top line is capped by a one-timer by Marc Savard.

The sequence began with Horton negating an icing with a hustle play, then Ference made a nice play to keep the puck in at point. Horton eventually worked it back to Savard for a shot from just inside the blue line with Lucic supplying the screen in front.

Second Period, 14:01, 1-1: The Bruins have definitely created more chances this period, and that's reflected in the 11-4 edge in shots (18-15 overall).

Toronto still has the advantage in the physical play though, with the hit tally now 12-4 in favor of the Leafs.

Second Period, 10:35, 1-1: The first sign of any nastiness, as Lucic and Komisarek come together again. As they begin shoving, Marc Savard steps in, then Clarke MacArthur goes after Savard, which doesn't sit well with any of the Bruins.

A minor scrum ensues, but nothing serious breaks out. Savard and MacArthur get the only penalties, matching roughing minors to make it 4-on-4 for the next two minutes.

Second Period, 7:56, 1-1: And on cue, Nathan Horton delivers with the tying goal, scoring his first in 10 games.

Horton fired in a wrister from the high slot off the inside of the post. Dennis Seidenberg picked up the only assist, as the Bruins' defense continues to pick up points of late.

Second Period, 7:30, Leafs 1-0: The Bruins are doing a better job of keeping the play in the Toronto end this period, but are still looking for their first goal.

Second Period, 5:09, Leafs 1-0: The Bruins in need of a jolt, as usual get it from the energy line, as Marchand has the best chance yet with a dart from the right circle off a feed from Campbell, but Reimer turns it aside.

Second Period, 2:20, Leafs 1-0: The Bruins are able to kill off that penalty, now can reset as they try to pull even early in the second period in Toronto.

Second Period, 0:20, Leafs 1-0: The Leafs will get their first power play as Dennis Seidenberg gets called for cross-checking Kessel.

Second Period, 0:00, Leafs 1-0: The middle frame has begun in Toronto, where the Bruins will look to buck a couple trends.

Boston is 0-7-2 when trailing after the first and 5-10-4 when giving up the first goal this season, while Toronto is 7-1-3 when leading after one and 10-3-3 when scoring first.

And yes, Rask is still in the net for Boston.

First Intermission Notes: Not a great start for the Bruins, who continued to play sloppy at times and fell behind early after a bad change led to a Leafs breakaway.

The good news is that Tuukka Rask looked sharp, making 10 saves. The bad news is he was tested too often after Bruins defensive breakdowns and turnovers. Boston had eight giveaways in the first.

Both teams are having trouble getting shots though, with the Bruins and Leafs each having seven blocked shots. Boston also missed the net on six attempts, while Toronto had five missed shots.

Phil Kessel still hasn't scored against his old club, but that drought will end if he keeps getting chances as he did in the first. he put three shots on goal out of five attempts, with each of the three being quality scoring chances denied by Rask.

Michael Ryder was a bright spot for Boston with two shots, both on quality scoring chances he helped create with his speed. Greg Campbell had a hit and won his only faceoff in 3:53 in his return to the lineup. That was a rare faceoff win though, as the Bruins were just 5-9 (36 percent) as a team.

The Bruins also need to ramp up their physical play. they were outhit 8-3 in the first. that comes on the heels of being outhit 21-8 in Buffalo on Saturday.

End First Period, Leafs 1-0: The opening 20 minutes come to a close with Toronto holding a one-goal advantage.

Both teams had chances to change that in the final minute, but Kessel was denied again, then Ryder was stopped on a bid as he carried the puck into the zone with speed at the other end of the ice.

First Period, 18:06, Leafs 1-0: Andrew Ference tries to send Seguin off to the races, but Versteeg steals the pass and has a chance instead. Rask makes the stop to keep it a one-goal game.

First Period, 14:08, Leafs 1-0: A bad change by the Bruins opens up the ice for Mikhail Grabovski, who breaks in alone for the first goal in this one.

Grabovski beat Rask with a backhand on the breakaway off the aerial outlet pass by Luke Schenn.

First Period, 13:20, 0-0: Adam McQuaid earning his money in this one with a pair of blocks in front on back-to-back Toronto rushes.

First Period, 12:02, 0-0: Thornton makes a nice steal from one-time Bruins prospect Kris Versteeg, but the Bruins are changing so he has no support on his counterattack back into the Toronto zone. Still a good play by Thornton to relieve the pressure and allow a safe change.

First Period, 9:30, 0-0: The line juggling continues, as Seguin now gets a shift with Bergeron and Recchi.

First Period, 8:04, 0-0: Phil Kessel with his first chance of the night, but Rask stops him at the right post. Kessel is still searching for his first goal against his old club in his ninth game against Boston.

First Period, 7:31, 0-0: While Marchand opened the game with Campbell and Thornton, Tyler Seguin is now back on the fourth line and Marchand back with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.

First Period, 5:39, 0-0: David Krejci with a bit of his old magic as he sets up Michael Ryder for a bid at the left post, but Reimer makes the save.

First Period, 4:14, 0-0: The Bruins can't convert on that power play, and the Leafs actually looked like they had the man-advantage late, giving Rask some early tests with some shorthanded pressure.

The Bruins were outshot 3-1 during that power play.

First Period, 2:14, 0-0: The Bruins get the first power play of the night as old friends Mike Komisarek and Milan Lucic reintroduce themselves.

Komisarek lands two hits on his old nemesis, but the second draws an interference call.

First Period, 0:00, 0-0: The first period is under way in Toronto, with the Bruins looking to close out this five-game road trip in style.

7 p.m.: Along with the energy line, the Bruins will open with Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer on defense and Tuukka Rask in goal, while Toronto counters with Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin up front, Luke Schenn and Tomas Kaberle on defense and James Reimer in the net.

6:55 p.m.: Greg Campbell is back in the lineup for the Bruins after missing the last two games with a stomach bug.

Daniel Paille and Mark Stuart (hand) are the scratches. And the "energy line" has been reunited, at least to start this one, as the Bruins with open with Campbell between Shawn Thornton and Brad Marchand.

The Leafs scratch Brett Lebda and John Mitchell.

6:30 p.m.: Tuukka Rask and James Reimer led their teams out for the warm-ups, so that appears to be the goalie matchup for this one.

Rask will get a chance to redeem himself after Saturday's early exit, while Reimer will look to build off his first win in the NHL, a 32-save effort in a 5-1 victory over Ottawa on Saturday.

6 p.m.: The Bruins will take on Toronto in just over an hour, and it appears that Tuukka Rask will get a chance to get back on track after being pulled in his first start in eight games in Buffalo on Saturday.

Rask was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, traditionally the indication of who will start that night. Greg Campbell was feeling better after a stomach bug kept him out of the last two games. he will be a game-time decision.

The Bruins will be looking for a more complete effort than Saturday's 7-6 shootout loss in Buffalo, but while Toronto may be in last place in the Northeast Division, the Bruins should not take the Leafs lightly. Toronto is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings between the Original Six rivals in Toronto, a trend the Bruins will look to change in this one.

8 a.m.: The Bruins finally close out their five-game road trip with a stop in Toronto on Monday.

They have earned points in each of the first four games on the trip and five straight overall, but back-to-back shootout losses to Atlanta and Buffalo temper the enthusiasm over that feat just a bit.

Toronto, meanwhile, routed rival Ottawa 5-1 on Saturday, but that was just the second win in the last seven games for the Leafs, who remain last in the Northeast Division with the fourth-worst record in the entire league.

That's good news for the Bruins, who own Toronto's first-round pick in 2011 from the Phil Kessel trade. A win on Monday will help keep that pick in lottery contention as the Bruins look forward to adding another prize prospect to the deal that has already produced Tyler Seguin and Jared Knight.

Kessel finally earned his first taste of success against his old club in the last meeting between the Bruins and Leafs, as he scored the deciding goal in the shootout in Toronto on Dec. 4. But Kessel is still searching for his first goal in regulation against Boston, as he has just one assist and is a minus-6 in eight games vs. the Bruins.

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

Third Period, 14:41, Bruins 2-1: The Leafs Third Period, 14:41, Bruins 2-1: The Leafs
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