Lucas Viveiros | Report
Giving the fans a tease of a likely first round playoff matchup, Toronto and Boston battled it out on Saturday evening with the Bruins coming out on top by a final score of 3-2.
Although Freddy Andersen was slated to return between the pipes for this crucial Atlantic Division battle, the Maple Leafs starting net minder missed the game with flu like symptoms.
Instead, Michael Hutchinson would be back in goal for his fifth consecutive start, looking to be the backbone for his teammates to claim two points over their arch rivals.
Boston came out of the gates buzzing and firing a plethora of shots at Hutchinson. The goaltender made some key stops in the first few minutes, along with the Leafs getting some favourable bounces to go their way.
Later in the period fortunes would shift for both teams however, as with under two minutes to play in the opening frame, David Krejci would score his ninth of the season on a quick slap-shot to put Boston out in front 1-0.
That score would stay unchanged into the second period, when the Leafs would crank up the pace of play.
Mitch Marner would see a shorthanded breakaway opportunity just over a minute into the second, but Rask would turn him away to retain Boston’s lead.
Then, on a dominant shift by Auston Matthews’ line over five minutes later, Andreas Johnsson would find the back of the net, squeaking the shot through Rask’s legs to naught the game at one’s.
Toronto’s momentum would carry them to another nice goal under two minutes after Johnsson’s tally. This marker would be on the power-play, as the Leafs would get some great puck movement going with all five skaters touching the puck before Marner would blast the shot by Rask’s glove side, giving the Buds a 2-1 lead.
That lead would be short lived though, as Boston’s MVP of the night Sean Kuraly would find the tying goal off a shot in the slot, raising the puck over the glove of Hutchinson to even the game at two’s.
The momentum shift in the game would then be evident, as after Toronto failed to capitalize on another power-play late in the second period, the Bruins would score another one prior to the final frame. This goal would come off of a brutal Nikita Zaitsev turnover behind his own net, and Kuraly would take the disk and find perennial Leaf-killer David Pastrnak in front to bury the eventual game winning goal.
The third would see chances exchanged, with the Leafs carrying the majority of the play but ultimately no results, as the Bruins would hang on for the 3-2 victory.
Revisit the game’s highlights below.
Next, Toronto will hopefully have starting goaltender Frederik Andersen back in the crease for Monday’s matchup against the Colorado Avalanche.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm from Scotiabank Arena, and can be seen on TSN4.
More news from the ice
- The Bruins now only trail the Leafs by two points for second place in the Atlantic Division (home ice in the first round)
- The Leafs and Bruins played out the final 6:55 without a whistle
- Mitch Marner has now scored 11 goals in his last 12 games
- William Nylander continues to struggle with only three points in his first 16 games (one goal, two assists)
- Patrice Bergeron now has registered 31 points in his last 24 regular season games vs the Leafs
- David Pastrnak now has 22 points in his last 11 games against the Maple Leafs (includes regular season and playoffs)
Out of town scoreboard
Saturday, January 12
Philadelphia 2 New Jersey 3
NY Rangera 2 NY Islanders 1
Tampa Bay 5 Buffalo 3
Colorado 0 Montreal 3
Columbus 2 Washington 1 (OT)
Detroit 5 Minnesota 2
Vegas 4 Chicago 3 (OT)
St. Louis 3 Dallas 1
Ottawa 1 San Jose 4
Arizona 3 Edmonton 2
Pittsburgh 2 Los Angeles 5
More coverage to follow. Image from SB Nation.