Though they should have put the game away much earlier, the Bruins managed to secure two points in a 4-3 shootout win over the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday.
The B’s never trailed in the game, but they blew a pair of leads and failed on multiple occasions to put the game out of reach. David Krejci came through in the end, beating James Reimer for the shootout’s only goal. That came after Tuukka Rask robbed James van Riemsdyk in the final seconds of overtime during a Toronto power play.
The Bruins were let down tremendously by their NHL-best power play, first registering just one shot while Toronto took two minor penalties in less than three minutes in the second period. Then, with the game tied at three late in the third period, the Bruins went on the man advantage with 2:01 remaining in regulation thanks to a Matt Hunwick hook on Matt Beleskey. The B’s failed to get anything past James Reimer on the man advantage and finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play.
With the win, the B’s have now won three straight games and stand at 11-8-1 on the season.
SECOND PERIOD NIGHTMARE
The second period could have been when Bruins pulled away from the Leafs, but it proved to be a nightmarish 20 minutes in which they blew a two-goal lead and, later, a one-goal lead.
After picking up the only two goals of the first period, the Bruins had the chance to put the game out of reach in the second period thanks to a pair of Maple Leafs penalties. When those power plays yielded no scoring, Toronto scored two goals in 1:02 to tie the game.
Shortly after the B’s regained the lead on Marchand’s second goal of the game, Tuukka Rask failed to glove a Shawn Matthias shot and was beaten by Tyler Bozak on the rebound. Then came the penalties for the Bruins, with McQuaid taking a pair of minor penalties and Marchand going the box on a holding penalty that was matched by a P.A. Pareneau. The Bruins managed to kill off McQuaid’s four minutes late in the second and into the third.
PENALTY KILL STRINGING TOGETHER SUCCESS
Not only did the Bruins all of their penalties for a third straight game — including a 4-on-3 in overtime on a Patrice Bergeron penalty — they picked up a shorthanded goal during their first kill.
With Brett Connolly in the box for tripping, Brad Marchand stole a puck from James Reimer and fed Patrice Bergeron, whose shot yielded a popup of a rebound. Marchand displayed great hand-eye coordination by batting the puck into the net for his second shorthanded goal of the season. The goal was reviewed to see if Marchand’s stick was above the crossbar, a question that needed no answer for the “5-foot-9″ forward.
The goal brought about this interesting nugget from NHL Public Relations. Since the 2009-10 season (the first in which Marchand played) Marchand leads the NHL with 17 shorthanded goals.
Most key for the Bruins was their ability to kill off a third-period Zdeno Chara cross-checking penalty that came as Zach Trotman and Nazem Kadri were sent off for roughing. That meant the B’s had to kill a penalty without two of their penalty killers, a feat they managed to keep the game tied.
When the Bruins traded a third-round pick for Zac Rinaldo this summer, it was tough to miss the fact that Rinaldo had more career games suspended (14) than goals (eight). For now, that won’t apply to this season.
Rinaldo, who has stayed out of trouble this season, picked up his first goal (and point) as a Bruin Monday night. The fourth-liner he caught up to a puck that Dennis Seidenberg had thrown off the glass in the neutral zone and fired a shot from the right circle that beat James Reimer short side.
FERRARO MAKES GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Speaking of fourth-liners, Landon Ferraro did well in his Bruins debut, picking up an important point in the process.
The former Red Wings first-round pick skated on Boston’s energy line with Rinaldo and Max Talbot a day after getting picked up on waivers. The trio kept the puck in the offensive zone, something with which the Bruins’ various fourth lines have struggled over the past couple seasons.
At the end of a shift of sustained pressure, Marchand got on the ice and took a feed from Ferraro, which he fired on Reimer. It appeared that Ferraro jammed the puck in, though the goal was credited to Marchand.