BOSTON — The Boston Bruins needed a good showing Saturday night, and they delivered just that.
After dropping Game 1 of their first round Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins rebounded with a convincing 4-1 win at TD Garden to level the series at one game apiece as it heads to Toronto.
The Bruins controlled the tempo from the beginning, and ultimately dominated pretty much wire-to-wire. Following a slow start to the series for Boston, it was the exact performance it needed to get back on track.
Charlie Coyle, Brad Marchand, Danton Heinen and Patrice Bergeron had the goals for Boston, while Nazem Kadri had Toronto’s tally.
Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for the Bruins, while Frederik Andersen turned away 37 shots for Toronto.
Here’s how it all went down:
Right out of the gate the Bruins played with a revamped style from the series opener. In Game 1, the Bruins tried matching Toronto’s speed, and that didn’t work out too well. So in Game 2, the Bruins started throwing bodies around and playing their more typical physical brand of hockey.
Less than five minutes into the game, they started to reap some of the benefits.
Nikita Zaitsev skated a puck deep in Toronto’s defensive end, but lost possession. David Backes stepped in and backhanded the loose puck into the slot, where Coyle was there to meet it. The center quickly got a shot off, zipping it past Andersen at 4:44 in the first.
The Bruins weren’t done, either.
With under five minutes left in the period, Torey Krug cleared the zone with a nice pass into the attacking end, which David Pastrnak caught up to. Pastrnak spun and slipped a nice pass to his left, finding Marchand. After making a quick move, Marchand slid Boston’s second goal past Andersen at 16:04.
The Bruins outshot the Leafs 14-7 and outhit them 20-17. It was an all-around tremendous period that the Bruins desperately needed to set the tone.
The Bruins furthered their advantage by scoring the third goal of the period, and it was thanks to a little help from Toronto.
William Nylander skated the puck deep in Toronto’s defensive end, but lost control right near the post. Andersen wasn’t prepared for the puck to be right on the doorstep, and Heinen was there to poke it home at 10:39.
It wasn’t all jubilation in the second period though, as Krug left the game after getting rocked by Jake Muzzin along the boards.
LEAFS’ COMEBACK ATTEMPT FALLS SHORT
Although the Bruins had built a commanding lead over the first 40 minutes, the Maple Leafs didn’t lie down in the third.
Just beyond the midway point of the frame, Nylander worked the puck up to Travis Dermott at the point. Dermott fired a shot and Kadri managed to get a piece of the puck, redirecting it past Rask to cut Boston’s lead to 3-1 at 10:44.
With just under six minutes to play, Kadri was served a match penalty. Jake DeBrusk laid a hard hit on Patrick Marleau, and Kadri responded with a cross-check to the head that sent DeBrusk to the ice for a moment. Kadri’s cross-check resulted in a five-minute major penalty, so that effectively ended any chance of the Maple Leafs finishing off the comeback.
One minute into the penalty (which was non-releasable since it was major), the Bruins added to their lead.
After getting the puck from Matt Grzelcyk, Marchand fired a puck toward the net. The puck deflected over to Bergeron on the doorstep, and Bergeron buried Boston’s fourth goal at 15:03.
The series now shifts to Toronto, with Game 3 set to take place Monday. Puck drop for Game 3 from Scotiabank Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images