Final, 4-2 Maple Leafs: And it’s a final in Boston, as the Bruins fall to the Leafs 4-2 in Game 2. Credit Phil Kessel coming through with a breakaway goal less than a minute into the third for changing the whole dynamic of this game.
The B’s and Leafs get back at it Monday night in Toronto. The winner will get a 2-1 series lead. The loser will get nervous.
Shawn Thornton did try to inject some life in to the B’s by beating up Mark Fraser with 0.5 seconds left in the game.
Third period, 3:07, 4-2 Maple Leafs: Dagger.
Dennis Seidenberg lost sight of James van Riemsdyk as Mikhail Grabovski weaved through the offensive zone. Grabovski passed to van Riemsdyk in front, and he spun around and, while falling to the ice, slipped a backhand right past the right skate of Rask.
That will just about do it for this one, barring a Bruins miracle.
Third period, 5:31, 3-2 Maple Leafs: Again, James Reimer can’t hang on to any shots, so expect the Bruins to get some chances on rebounds if they can get some shots on net.
A big story after this one will be a blatant elbow from Dion Phaneuf on Daniel Paille. It looked very similar to Andrew Ference’s elbow on Grabovski in Game 1 and therefore looks very suspendable. Of course, that doesn’t mean anything for this game, especially considering neither ref saw the chicken wing fly into Paille’s face.
Third period, 9:23, 3-2 Maple Leafs: And the Boston Bruins have life.
They have some hope here thanks to a Johnny Boychuk goal that woke up this crowd and cut the lead to just one. Tyler Seguin had been playing great all night, and it really seemed as if he was destined to score. He didn’t get credit for this one, but he was battling in front of the net and just got enough of a Johnny Boychuk blue-line blast to get the puck over Reimer. The goal goes to Boychuk, and it was the goal the Bruins badly needed. They have nine minutes to get one more to tie this one up.
Third period, 13:39, 3-1 Maple Leafs: A Boston comeback just got that much harder, as Zdeno Chara heads to the box for interference.
Chara has gotten away with a couple of extra shoves tonight — this is the postseason, after all — but this time, Nazem Kadri went down in a heap after the check from the big man away from the puck, and the ref’s arm went up. Say whatever you want about going down easily to draw penalties, but it’s a strategy that’s working for Toronto tonight.
Third period, 19:07, 3-1 Maple Leafs: The one thing that could best silence this crowd would probably have to be a Phil Kessel breakaway goal. And, sure enough, this place is awfully quiet after Kessel beat Rask on a breakaway to give the Leafs a 3-1 lead.
A pretty big defensive breakdown led to the breakaway, after Nazem Kadri sent a long pass from the Toronto end to a streaking Kessel at the Boston blue line.
Third period, 20:00, 2-1 Maple Leafs: Twenty minutes to glory begins now.
End of second period, 2-1 Maple Leafs: The good news for the Bruins is that they got things under control much better after that momentary lapse after the second Lupul goal. The bad news is that outside of a long Chara wrister with Campbell screening in front, they’re having trouble creating much of anything in the offensive zone. They do own a 28-26 shot advantage through two, but they still trail.
The key will be to fire more low shots on net from all angles and following up by crashing the net. Reimer hasn’t proven capable of controlling any rebounds, so the odds are in Boston’s favor to create some rebound opportunities, much like their first goal. Given the way Toronto will take extra care to avoid giving up odd-man rushes, that might be the best bet to get another one on the board.
Second period, 2:37, 2-1 Maple Leafs: You didn’t really think Marchand was going to miss any time, did you? Kid’s a hockey player. He was back out there and set up Seguin with a really solid scoring opportunity in the slot.
Second period, 4:43, 2-1 Maple Leafs: Things are definitely coming unhinged a bit for Boston, but Tuukka Rask has been able to bail them out, most notably with a sprawling glove save during a mad scramble in front. He now has 24 saves, but the Bruins need to clamp down in their own zone and start making clean passes to break out if they want to take some of the pressure off.
Also, a Zdeno Chara slapper caught Marchand on the side of the leg. He went down and was in a whole world of pain before finally getting to the bench. We’ll see if he misses any time.
Second period, 8:04, 2-1 Maple Leafs: Toronto has its second lead of the series, thanks to Joffrey Lupul again being in the right place at the right time.
The goal was all thanks to Matt Frattin, who dangled around Dennis Seidenberg and threw a backhand on net. It wasn’t much of a shot, but it was enough to produce a rebound for Lupul, who again delivered for Toronto.
That’s twice now Seidenberg has been made to look the fool in a stretch of 90 seconds. Earlier, Kulemin put the puck right between Seidenebrg’s legs and sent a backhand toward net. Rask was bailed out by the post on that one, but this time, the Bruins weren’t so lucky.
Second period, 10:25, 1-1: The B’s dodge a bullet, as they’re actually able to generate more offensive opportunities short-handed than the Leafs are on the advantage.
Dougie Hamilton, in his first ever playoff game, seems to not be avoiding any of the rough stuff, getting a little shoving match with Komarov after the whistle before Chara came over to back him up.
Second period, 12:37, 1-1: Bad news for Boston, after Rich Peverley just has a brain fart and sends the puck flying over the boards. He heads to the box for two minutes for delay of game.
Second period, 14:42, 1-1: The Maple Leafs have been eager to get Chara in the box for four periods, and they finally succeeded in that quest and made the most of it.
Chara went to the box for tripping after a pretty stellar acting job by Ryan Hamilton behind the Boston net. After Rask made a brilliant glove save on a blast from the blue line by Dion Phaneuf, the Leafs gained possession in the offensive zone. Rask stopped a shot from the point by Jake Gardiner, but the rebound bounced right to the stick of Joffrey Lupul. He deposited the puck into the empty net with two seconds left on the power play, and this one’s tied up.
Second period, 18:04, 1-0 Bruins: All night, James Reimer has had a heck of a time controlling his rebounds. And finally, it caught up to him.
Nathan Horton carried the puck with speed through the neutral zone and dropped it back for Milan Lucic at the top of the left faceoff circle. Lucic teed up a blast, and Reimer made a pad save. However, he kicked out a big fat rebound right to the front of the net, and Horton was there to jam it home.
After a brief review to make sure Horton didn’t kick it in, the Bruins have a 1-0 lead. Assists to Lucic and Krejci, who got it started all the way back in the Boston zone with a crafty breakout pass.
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: And … exhale. Patrice Bergeron is back.
We don’t know what kept him off the ice for the final few minutes of the first, but he was one of the first skaters back on the ice coming out of the intermission, and he’s at center ice for the opening draw of the second.
End of first period, 0-0: It was a rather uneventful 63 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey. Perhaps both sides were pretty worn out, because they both came out pretty hard for this one.
Something to note: Patrice Bergeron left the Bruins’ bench and didn’t return at the end of the period. Now, it might not be time to worry just yet, because it could have been anything, but any time Bergeron leaves a game, it has to be a concern. You’ll remember that last time he left a game, it was after minor contact with Ottawa’s Colin Greening, and it ended up being a concussion that kept him off the ice for more than two weeks. I can’t even speculate on what type of potential injury it is, because I didn’t notice any hit or collision that really stood out.
And if you’re looking to be optimism, maybe he just needed a skate sharpened.
If the Bruins provide any update during the intermission, I’ll post it here.
As for the rest of the game, the Leafs own a 12-10 shot advantage, while Carl Gunarsson has been credited with a game-high four hits. The Leafs were credited with 22 hits in the first, while the Bruins were credited with just 10. Tyler Seguin (2) is the only skater credited with more than one hit. That’s rather un-Bruins-like.
First period, 1:03, 0-0: No team hates Marchand more than these Leafs, and Dion Phaneuf just showed his own frustration in the form of a punch to Marchand’s face. The thing is, that’s against the rules, so Phaneuf heads to the box for two minutes.
The Bruins’ power play lasts all of eight seconds though, after Marchand gets called for tripping Jay McClement. Make-up call if there ever was one.
First period, 5:52, 0-0: The Bruins benefit from a bit of a horseshoe moment, after Zdeno Chara hesitates before deciding to step up in the offensive zone. His misstep led to a 3-on-1 for the Leafs, and they had a golden opportunity, but Lupul’s saucer pass to Kessel led him past the net, and Rask was there to smother his shot.
First period, 9:28, 0-0: No Maple Leafs skater was more wild and reckless than Colton Orr in Game 1, and he just made the most of a free shot at Zdeno Chara in the corner behind the Boston net. Orr leveled Chara in the biggest hit yet, and the captain didn’t appear too happy to be down on his backside. Like I said earlier, the Maple Leafs would love to get Chara in the penalty box for any reason at all, so expect more of that to come.
The B’s are out-shooting the Leafs 6-3 at the midway point of the first, though the Leafs are playing much more responsibly in their own zone thus far.
First period, 13:24, 0-0: James Reimer had a tough night in Game 1, but he just came through with a huge glove save … barely. After Jake Gardiner’s pass off the boards to nobody ended up right on the stick of Gregory Campbell, the B’s fourth-line center teed up a blast coming down the slot. Reimer reached and got his glove on the puck, which then landed behind him. No Bruins skater was close enough to try to bang home the rebound, and Reimer quickly found it and covered it. Close call, but we’re still scoreless.
First period, 15:00, 0-0: Unlike Game 1, we’re through five minutes without any penalties or goals, but the intensity is right back at that same level. One hit of note came when Zdeno Chara laid out James van Riemsdyk at the Boston blue line. Given van Riemsdyk’s butt-end to Brad Marchand’s “privates” the other night, it’s safe to think that one had a little extra oomph to it.
First period, 20:00: Claude is starting things up with the Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line, with McQuaid and Chara on the back end. The Leafs are going with Lupul-Bozak-Kessel, with Phaneuf and Gunarsson on the blue line, and this one’s under way.
7 p.m.: Tonight’s Fan Banner Captain will be Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings but was able to help authorities identify the suspects. He released the following statement:
“I want to thank everyone for their amazing support for me and all those injured and their families. I’m making great progress and I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to respect our space at this time. I want to thank the Bruins players and organization for the generosity and support for all those impacted. Like all those in Black and Gold I can’t wait to see them on another quest for the cup. Go Bruins!”
6:40 p.m.: Based on line rushes, it looks like Rich Peverley will indeed skate on the third line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr and that Dougie Hamilton will be paired up on the blue line with Wade Redden. That seemed to be obvious, but Claude Julien played so coy that it left room to wonder whether he had something up his sleeve.
For the Leafs, Frattin and Hamilton did skate in line rushes, so they look to be in too. We’ll know shortly before puck drop whether that’s official.
6:15 p.m.: It’s a beautiful day for hockey in Boston, and the Bruins and Leafs are less than an hour away from resuming their first round series at the TD Garden in Boston.
The Leafs appeared awfully relaxed down outside their locker room, where many of them were having a spirited game of soccer. The smiles and laughs aren’t expected to carry over into game time though, not after the physical battle we saw Wednesday night in Game 1.
Now, the Leafs might have gone overboard a bit in their quest to battle with the Bruins, because not many teams beat the Bruins by getting physical. It’s possible the Leafs were hoping to get under the Bruins’ skin and draw them into stupid penalties (they particularly seemed to target Zdeno Chara), but they ended up just firing up the Bruins, who matched Toronto blow for blow, right down to the final buzzer.
Tonight, the Leafs are clearly going to have to try something different. We know they’re expected to have a different lineup, with Matt Fratin and Ryan Hamilton taking the spots of Frazer McLaren and Clarke MacArthur, but we’ll see if that change is made.
The Bruins don’t have a choice when it comes to making a change, thanks to Andrew Ference’s one-game suspension for his elbow in Mikhail Grabovski. Based on the two-game ban on Ottawa’s Eric Gryba, Ference is awfully lucky he didn’t injure Grabovski or make him bleed on the ice, because you can bet that one-game suspension would’ve been a whole lot longer.
Anyways, I’ll post the lineups from warmups right here, and stick with the live blog throughout the game for updates from start to finish from the Garden.