The Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 2-1 in overtime at the TD Garden. Despite a positive showing from the blue and white, the Maple Leafs just fell short in overtime after Bruins star David Pastrnak scored his fifty-seventh of the season. With this victory, the Boston Bruins have taken the season series against the Maple Leafs. However, this game was nothing to be ashamed of.
In the first period, both sides had their fair share of opportunities. Although the Boston Bruins did have a much better start, Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov was sharp early. As the first twenty minutes started to go pretty quickly, just before the intermission, a fight broke out between Leafs forward Sam Lafferty and Bruins forward A.J. Greer. Once the fight was over, the Maple Leafs started to come close, but Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman kept this one tied at zero heading into intermission.
In the middle frame of this one, the Toronto Maple Leafs came out strong. After the Bruins led the shot totals eleven to seven after the first, the Maple Leafs bounced right back, peppering the Bruins goaltender. Despite being scoreless still at the halfway point, 11:34 into the second period, Leafs forward Sam Lafferty broke the ice giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. After Sam Lafferty dumped the puck into the Bruins zone, Zach Aston-Reese fired the puck on goal leading to a rebound opportunity. All alone was the 28-year-old Maple Leaf forward who added his twelfth of the season. Once the blue and white went ahead, the Bruins started to find their rhythm again but couldn’t get one before the second intermission.
As the third period got underway with the Maple Leafs holding a 1-0 advantage, both sides came out flying. After a power-play opportunity was missed by the Maple Leafs, who could not convert on the man advantage, Boston Bruins forward Charlie Coyle eventually tied the game not too long after. After a clearance attempt by Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn was unsuccessful, the Bruins veteran took the puck into the slot and fired one just over the glove of the Leafs goaltender. Once the game was tied, both teams kept trading chances, but the clock ticked down, running out of time. We were heading to overtime as the score remained tied at one through the first sixty minutes.
As overtime kicked off, only twenty-four seconds in, Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly was called for hooking. After a few good opportunities couldn’t connect on the Bruins power-play, eventually, after capturing momentum, a one-time shot worked up high for Bruins star David Pastrnak beat Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The Boston Bruins won this one 2-1 in overtime.
With the Maple Leafs regular season slowly coming to an end, it’s crucial this team starts to raise their game. Despite not getting the win tonight in Boston, this group was able to match up quite well against the best team in hockey. If the Maple Leafs can find this balance of strength and speed while getting their star players going, I expect the blue and white to be a hard team to play against in this year’s playoffs. The blue and white will now look ahead to a battle with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena.
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