The Boston Bruins didn't have a great start to their roadtrip, coming out of the gate tonight with little puck possession, lackluster scoring chances, and overall sloppy play. The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Connor Brown deflected a shot by Colin Greening, and the puck worked its way by Tuukka Rask.
Leafs goal (Greening I think) pic.twitter.com/tSUCdFdM7p— Stephanie (@myregularface) March 26, 2016
The Bruins failed to respond before heading into the locker room, and after 20 minutes it seemed like just another night in this string of recent disappointments. But that wasn't the case. Boston responded early in the 2nd Period, when a penalty by Connor Carrick leads to the Bruins' first powerplay opportunity. With a great screen by Matt Beleskey in front of Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier, Patrice Bergeron snaps the rebound by the havoc in the crease and ties the game 1-1.
Boston wasn't done yet, as they steadily put more & more pressure on Toronto. Towards the middle of the period, the momentum had completely shifted, and the Bruins puck possession was in full effect. The dam was sure to break, and it did when a David Krejci shot from the point his Bernier in the mask. Chara, pinching down toward the slot, picked up the loose rebound and backhanded the puck by the Toronto netminder, giving the Bruins their first lead since the 1st Period against the Sharks on March 15th.
Chara is a large human being, and many of his teammates are smaller human beings.
Boston continued to dial it up through the end of the 2nd period, and the 3rd was more of the same. Despite some chances from Toronto, Tuukka Rask and the Bruins held strong, and Rask ended the nice making 25 saves on 26 shots. The longer the game went on, the higher the intensity became. Post-whistle chippiness was the norm in the final twenty minutes, and the physicality was seen up and down the roster.
Matt Beleskey, who had a monstrous game both on and off the score sheet, added a powerplay empty-net goal to seal the deal with about a minute to go, and the Black & Gold take a much needed two points out of this one. Boston now leads the Detroit Red Wings by 3 points for the 3rd spot in the Atlantic with 6 games remaining. Detroit does, however, have a game-in-hand.