The first 20 minutes did not disappoint. We saw close to 30 shots on goal between the two teams, and some very exciting action. Kevan Miller started his first shift back with multiple shot attempts and sustained offensive goal time. He ended the period with 9 shot attempts for and 4 against.
Brad Marchand started the scoring with his 23rd of the season just over 6 minutes into the period. As expected, Pastrnak and Bergeron got the helpers.
However, didn’t take long for the Leafs to respond. A nice royal road pass from Nylander to Marner was enough to tie the game up.
A couple of minutes later, the Bruins took a too many men penalty. It didn’t take too long for the Leafs to take advantage of the penalty to make it 2-1.
Close to 5 minutes later, Marchand scored again with assists from Pastrnak and Bergeron. This time, the goal was a bit more flashy.
The following 20 minutes were even more exciting. After some sustained offensive zone time for the Leafs, the Bruins flipped a switch by connecting on a lob pass from the defensive zone. A patient play from Ryan Spooner put the Bruins up 3-2.
Unfortunately, there weren’t many bright spots in the 2nd period outside of the goal. The Maple Leafs outshot the Bruins 15-2. Tuukka Rask stayed strong in goal and only let up a single powerplay goal late in the period. You will notice Miller playing as a forward. That is because Chara came out of the box after the 30 second 5 on 3 was up thanks to a tripping penalty from Charlie McAvoy.
Outside of the last two minutes, which we’ll get to in a second, the 3rd period was uneventful. Spooner, DeBrusk, and Carlo sat through most of it. Bruce Cassidy seems to be losing confidence in Carlo by the day, and tonight was no exception.
The winning goal, which came with 1:23 left in the period, was controversial to say the least.
Most people would find that to be goalie interference, and Tuukka Rask agrees.
Tuukka Rask: “I couldn’t get there on time because someone interfered with me.”— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 25, 2018
The Bruins did not play their best game. At 5v5, they were outshot 62-38. That was largely caused by an awful 2nd period, when they were playing with a lead. Riley Nash was the only Bruin to have a positive CF% at 53%. Kevan Miller also had a wonderful first game back.
Hopefully it is nothing serious, but Bergeron was a little banged up after the game. We will have more on that as details emerge.