There’s never a dull moment when the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs go head-to-head, and that proved to be the case yet again Saturday.
The Bruins earned a 3-2 win over the Leafs in what was a tremendous Original Six battle at Scotiabank Arena.
David Krejci, David Pastrnak and Sean Kuraly had the goals for Boston, while Andreas Johnsson and Mitch Marner potted Toronto’s tallies. The Bruins erased a one-goal deficit in the second period by burying two goals before the horn sounded to end the middle 20 minutes.
Tuukka Rask turned away 30 shots for the Bruins, while Toronto netminder Michael Hutchinson made 26 saves.
The Bruins climbed to 26-15-4 with the win, while the Maple Leafs fell to 28-14-2 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
B’S STRIKE FIRST
Although it was the Leafs who posted more zone time and shots on net in the opening frame, it was the Bruins who got on the board first.
With under two minutes to go in the period, Kuraly skated the puck deep into the attacking zone, then made a hard stop, turned and passed the puck to Krejci, who had darted from the point toward the right face-off circle. After receiving the pass, Krejci uncorked a slap shot past Hutchinson at 18:21 for the first goal of the game.
It was Krejci’s ninth goal of the campaign, and second in as many games.
Rask made some big saves as Toronto outshot Boston 15-9 in the first 20 minutes, but it was Matt Grzelcyk who came up with one of the biggest stops. After a Maple Leafs slap shot from the point banked off the end boards, Kasperi Kapanen got the puck a few feet from the doorstep with no one in the way. Grzelcyk slid over at the last second and blocked the shot from his knees, keeping the game tied at zero.
Entering the period down 1-0, the Leafs turned things around in the second, scoring a pair of goals — but their lead only would last so long.
The first tally came with a little bit of puck luck. Kapanen fed a puck to Johnsson at the top of the left face-off circle, and Johnsson ripped a shot that deflected right at the crease and went straight to the ice and through Rask’s legs at 7:37.
Just under two minutes later, Toronto capitalized on the power play while Kevan Miller sat in the penalty box for holding William Nylander.
Nazem Kadri slid a nice cross-ice pass through the slot and found Marner wide open, and Marner unloaded a successful slap shot from inside the circle at 9:30.
The Bruins wouldn’t go into the break trailing, however.
Jake Gardiner struggled to clear Toronto’s zone thanks to clinical forechecking behind the net from Chris Wagner and Noel Acciari. Wagner ended up getting possession, then slid a backhanded pass to Kuraly, who launched a missile from the right face-off dot that found the top corner to equalize at 14:47.
The Maple Leafs went on the power play again with just under four minutes left in the period when Patrice Bergeron was whistled for delay of game, but Boston killed it successfully.
Then, Charlie McAvoy dumped a puck in from the red line, which Kuraly gave chase to on a one-man forecheck against three Leafs. Kuraly got possession of the puck behind the net and slipped it to the doorstep where Pastrnak — who had dashed into the attacking zone after coming off the bench — finished passed Hutchinson to give the lead back to the Bruins.
Needing to protect the lead in the third, defensively the Bruins did a fine job smothering the Leafs whilst still creating some opportunities in their attacking zone. Boston ultimately outshot Toronto 10-6 in the final frame, but the final minutes of the frame were downright wild.
With their net empty, the Maple Leafs peppered Rask, who came up big time after time as Boston struggled to safely clear its zone.
The Bruins will return home for another Original Six tilt, this time against the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images