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Bruins down Leafs 5-2

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The Bruins were able to shutdown Phil Kessel and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on home ice for the second time in the last 6 nights. For the second straight game against his former team, Phil Kessel was a complete non-factor. In 18:29 of ice time, Kessel recorded 2 shots on goal and 17,565 boos.

Mark Stuart's second goal of the season at 8:01 of the first period staked the Bruins to a 1-0 lead. Patrice Bergeron won the draw at the left wing circle to Marco Sturm. Sturm directed the puck back to Johnny Boychuck, who slid the puck to his defense partner Stuart out near the blue line in the (extremely) high slot. Stuart fired a slapper that beat Vesa Toskala five hole for his first goal since October 17th.

Derek Morris' power play goal with Ian White off for holding gave the B's a 2-0 lead 35 seconds into the second period. Morris' drive from the right point found it's way through several bodies in front of the net and past Toskala for the 2-goal lead.

After scoring the early goal, Mark Stuart looked like he really wanted the Gordie Howe Hat Trick tonight. He and Jamal Mayers dropped the gloves at 2:07 of the second period and were each given two minutes for roughing after a brief dust up. Not satisfied with their short scrap, both men exited the box and dropped the gloves again. This time they made it count, earning the full 5 minutes each.

David Krejci made it 3-0 with 8:50 left in the middle period when we broke in all alone on Toskala and tucked the puck in the net.

Mikhail Grabovski pulled the Leafs to within two 18 seconds into the third period when he found the puck lying in the slot and put it past Tuukka Rask for the Leafs' first goal of the night.

The Leafs struck again to make it 3-2 less than 4 minutes later when Mike Komisarek made a beautiful cross-ice pass from the right point to find Nikolai Kulemin driving to the net along the goal line on the left wing side of the ice.

Mark Recchi sealed the victory for the Bruins (and got a double fist pump from Cam Neely) on the power play with 2:37 remaining in third period. Blake Wheeler sent a pass from the right circle to Recchi at the doorstep for the 4-2 lead.

Recchi padded his stats with an empty-netter in the final minute to account for the 5-2 final score.


Final - 12.10.2009 1 2 3 Total
Toronto Maple Leafs 0 0 2 2
Boston Bruins 1 2 2 5

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Notes:

- Tuukka Rask made 32 saves

- The Bruins were completely out-played for much of the third period but were able to survive, thanks in large part to Jason Blake's high-sticking penalty at 15:59 of the period.

- Matt Hunwick skated as a forward in place of Byron Bitz ("under the weather"). Hunwick skated on the left wing tonight alongside Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton on the fourth line. He finished the game a +1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 10:34 of ice time (all even strength).

- In just 10:58 of ice time tonight, Steve Begin recorded more hits (8) than Phil Kessel did in 70 games last season (6).

- In rare occurrence this year, the Bruins lost the face-off battle tonight 27-22.

- The B's have out-scored the Leafs 12-4 in the last two games.

- The Bruins are back in game action on Saturday night when they face the Islanders in Uniondale, NY.