The Bruins lost their last two contests and were hoping to break that streak against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. The B’s have been riding their offensive gem, David Pastrnak, but a more complete game is needed to win in any league, even against Toronto.
The Maple Leafs won the first match between the two and were looking for another. They had Frederik Andersen between the pipes, who has been somewhat of a kryptonite for the Bruins since Andersen has a 5-0-0 lifetime record against the black and gold, including a win earlier in the season.
The Bruins came out of the gate fast and within the first minute, David Pastrnak got the first scoring chance when Brad Marchand set up a one-timer, but Frederik Andersen made the save. However, that was only one of the many chances the B’s had early on. Most of the play in the first ten minutes was in the Maple Leafs’ zone and the neutral zone as the Leafs couldn’t keep up with the Bruins early on.
With around 12 minutes left in the first, Marchand was hooked on a breakaway which did not end in a penalty shot, but a two-minute minor was called. The Bruins made the most of the penalty, camping themselves in the Toronto zone, firing off shots and creating many chances, but nothing came of it. The Leafs started catching up to the Bruins’ pace halfway through the opening frame, but it was not a good enough effort, as they only had two shots on the period. The Bruins’ defense was solid.
It was the first time in two games the Bruins were not down by two after the first.
Before two minutes passed in the second period, Auston Matthews scored the first goal of the game. This and the Bruins’ defense looking weak early on was not a good sign to start the period.
Five minutes in, Toronto recorded five shots compared to the Bruins’ one shot. The opening of the period looked like the complete opposite of the first period for both squads. One thing stayed the same, though: Andersen continued standing on his head.
The Bruins’ defense began playing physical again after the initial Maple Leafs showing, and the Bruins as a whole started playing better halfway through the period. Toronto’s Zach Hyman scored with less than five minutes left. The B’s answered with a goal of their own from Marchand late in the period, after Andersen tried to play the puck behind the net and pretty much gave it to Marchand, who took advantage of the gift.
The Bruins were down one after two.
— Weekend at Bergy’s (@weekendatbergys) December 11, 2016
The final period began with Zdeno Chara receiving a two-minute minor for tripping, which the Bruins killed off with some back-and-forth play, keeping Toronto out of the offensive zone.
After that kill, the B’s were back on the PK after Marchand got called for tripping in a weird sequence with Roman Polak which did not involve a clear trip. The Bruins killed the penalty, but as Marchand was coming out of the box, James van Riemsdyk scored an even strength goal that put the Bruins down by two. A win seemed like a long shot at this point in the game but with around two minutes left in regulation, Rask was pulled from the net. Connor Brown scored on the empty net moments after Rask left the ice, putting the Leafs up 4-1. This would be the final score, and the Bruins have lost their last three games.
TOR – Auston Matthews (12) assisted by William Nylander (11)
TOR – Zach Hyman (4) assisted by Jake Gardiner (6) and Matt Hunwick (5)
BOS – Brad Marchand (8) assisted by David Backes (6)
TOR – James van Riemsdyk (12) assisted by Tyler Bozak (13) and Matt Hunwick (6)
TOR – Connor Brown (4) assisted by Morgan Reilly (14) (empty net)
THW Three Stars
First: Frederik Andersen (26 saves on 27 shots)
Second: Matt Hunwick (2 assists)
Third: Brad Marchand (1 goal)