Though the stakes weren’t quite as high as when they most notably did it, the Bruins scored late to defeat the Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
With the game scoreless with under four minutes to play, Zdeno Chara took a pass from Zach Trotman, glided up to the left circle, and fired a slap shot past a screening David Krejci and Leafs goaltender James Reimer. Brad Marchand then added an empty-netter with 6.5 seconds remaining to give the B’s a 2-0 victory.
With the win and Thursday’s victory over the Wild, the Bruins now have back-to-back home wins for the first time this season. They’ll next head out on a two-game road trip that will begin with a contest against the very Leafs team they defeated Saturday.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
RASK STANDS TALL
Tuukka Rask hasn’t stolen many games this season, but he made enough key saves to do it Saturday night in what proved to be a goaltending duel with James Reimer.
Most notable Rask, stopped Shawn Matthias on three of breakaways, first stoning the former Canucks forward on a break that came when Colin Miller fell down at the blue line in the first period. Matthias had another breakaway in the second against the Krug-McQuaid pairing but was again stopped by the Boston goaltender. Rask made it 3-for-3 by stopping Matthias on a partial break during a Bruins power play in the third.
The shutout was Rask’s second of the season.
MARCHAND DETERMINES SPECIAL TEAMS
The Bruins had only one penalty and one power play Saturday. Brad Marchand figured into both.
Marchand put the Leafs on the power play in the first period with a roughing penalty that came with a takedown of James van Riemsdyk. The UNH product went after Marchand due to a leg check that the B’s winger put on Leo Komarov, with Marchand then throwing the 6-foot-3 van Riemsdyk to the ice.
Marchand end up making up for it, as he was the victim of a Nazim Kadri high stick that put the B’s on the power play early in the third. Given how bad the B’s fared on that power play (the Leafs’ penalty kill had better scoring chances), it probably wasn’t worth it.
Speaking of Marchand…
MARCHAND HAS GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE, BUT SINCE HE DIDN’T SCORE IT PROBABLY WON’T QUALIFY
That we can safely say the Garden crowd was the most impressed it’s been in a home game this season on a play in which the Bruins didn’t score says a lot about how the Bruins have played at home. That sentence was wordy, but the long and short of it is that Marchand nearly scored the goal of his life on a first-period rush in which absolutely embarrassed Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly.
After winning the puck along the boards in the neutral zone, Marchand first cut in and then back out, fooling Rielly with each move. His attempt to finish on the play was stopped by Riemer.
And speaking of close calls with goals…
REVIEW DOESN’T HELP B’S
With the game still scoreless with under eight minutes remaining, Matt Hunwick appeared to lay out in a successful attempt to stop Jimmy Hayes from jamming the puck past Reimer. The play was reviewed, and though replays showed the play to be much closer than it seemed live, there were likely too many bodies there to actually see the puck and whether it crossed the line.