In what might have been the most entertaining game of the year at Scotiabank Arena Wednesday night, the Boston Bruins prevailed, holding off the charging Toronto Maple Leafs with an empty net goal, to secure a 6-4 victory.
The Leafs inability to kill penalties was there undoing as Toronto killer David Pastrnak had a pair to lead the way for the Beantowners including one on the power play. Auston Matthews had two in a losing cause for home town buds along with a number of chances to add to the total but it was just one of those nights. The puck wouldn’t go in for not only 34, but also William Nylander who was buzzing around the B’s zone most the game. The fourth line of Tyler Ennis, Frederik Gauthier and Trevor Moore had another terrific outing but were also cursed with bad puck luck.
The Leafs certainly played well enough to win, carrying a lot of the play but give Boston credit, they played disciplined, stayed away from the nonsense and capitalized on their opportunities.
The Bruins potent top line couldn’t be held off the score sheet forever and showed why they may be the most complete line in the NHL. The Tavares line has done a masterful job limiting their scoring chances, but these guys are so good they find ways to create holes. Marchand’s goal was a thing of beauty and the setups to Pastrnak and McAvoy were executed at an elite skill level.
Frederik Andersen would like to have a few of the goals back particularly the winner by Zedano Chara who was standing still when he drifted one from the point and was more surprised than anyone in the building when it went in. Like they say, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
A poor penalty by Connor Brown that lead to a Bruins power play goal along Brown missing a gaping wide-open net and an absolute brutal roughing call to Auston Matthews that cost them another goal exemplifies, it really is, “a game of inches.”
The game was wide open at times and the two evenly matched teams look like they’ll take this one to the limit.
The hope for the Leafs and their legion of followers is outside of game two when they were run out of the building, they’ve held an edge in the overall play.
It’s now a best of three with Boston holding home ice starting tomorrow night and if Toronto has any thought of moving on, they’ll have to find another gear because as the Bruins have shown time and again, good teams just find a way to win.
These guys are a very good team.