Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
B’s get back in win column with strong third: The Bruins and Leafs might have been tied going into the second intermission, but Boston had to be less than thrilled with their O-zone chances through the first 40 minutes of play — with Toronto holding a dominant 51-30 edge in 5v5 shot attempts up to that point in the contest.
But, after coughing up a four-goal lead to the Panthers during the final stanza on Tuesday night, a desperate B’s club put Toronto on its heels for most of the third period on Friday — scoring three goals and controlling O-zone play in what stood as Boston’s first victory since November 4.
While Boston regained the lead just 11 seconds into the stanza off of a tally from Brad Marchand, it looked as though we were in for another back-and-forth scrap at Scotiabank Arena after Kasperi Kapanen tied things up once again at 3:54 in the third.
But things quickly went south for a Leafs team that has now yet to win in four straight games, as Marchand beat Frederik Andersen just 1:14 later to give the B’s a lead that they would not relinquish.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Toronto closed out the final 20 minutes of play with just seven 5v5 shots on goal and four scoring chances. Toronto might be in rough shape right now, but to control a third period like that — especially on the road — was very impressive for a B’s team that avoided its first five-game losing streak since 2016.
A shorthanded B’s club gets the job done: Marchand might have tallied two goals and Tuukka Rask finished with 29 saves, but it was a collective effort from a shorthanded roster that allowed Boston to get back in the win column.
Whether it be a goal from a reworked second line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork on the wing, a number of pugnacious shifts from the usual suspects on the fourth line in Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom, six hits in 8:35 of ice time for Trent Frederic and 16:03 of TOI for Urho Vaakanainen — Bruce Cassidy’s club did more than enough to post a hard-earned road win on Friday night.
With only Brett Ritchie possibly set to return on Saturday night, look for this same crop of players to get another run together — this time against a loaded Capitals team.