Maple Leafs drop third consecutive game with 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins
Photo credit:Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
By Joseph Zita1 month ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs went back on the road for a quick stop in Boston to take on the 8-0-1 Bruins after returning home following a five-game road trip. However, their stop at home didn’t go as planned as they dropped that game 4-1 to the Kings and had to shift their focus to a team that seems unbeatable in the Boston Bruins.
After an embarrassing effort in their last game against the Kings, the Maple Leafs came out against the Bruins and played a solid first period. Both teams didn’t give up many high-quality looks throughout the first half of the period until things started to open up, and both teams started generating offence. They exchanged chances off the rush and face-offs in the offensive zone, but both goalies were up to the early task of stopping the puck. However, it was the Bruins who inevitably opened the scoring with a tap-in shot from Pavel Zacha with just over a minute to go in the period.
The second line was caught out on the ice for a little too long and couldn’t clear the puck. John Klingberg allowed Zacha to skate in front of the net untouched to pot home his fourth of the season. After what was a solid period for Toronto, it felt like it went to waste given the late goal from Boston, and to make matters worse, Brad Marchand took out Timothy Liljegren’s left skate, and he crashed into the boards hard and awkwardly. He would need assistance to skate off the ice.
Toronto headed into the first intermission down 1-0 and having lost a defenseman for the third time in their last four games.
It wasn’t a pretty start for the Maple Leafs here in the second period. After allowing a late first-period goal, TJ Brodie fell and tried to pass the puck in the offensive zone but failed. Marchand streaked down the Maple Leafs’ zone, fired a shot off Samsonov’s pad, and DeBrusk was there to clean up the rebound to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. The Maple Leafs had a couple of great looks after going down 2-0 but elected for an extra pass instead of shooting it. Tavares and Marner had grade-A looks in front of the net, but both forced passes, which didnt help them score.
However, Toronto finally found the back of the net and beat Swayman with two goals in quick succession. The top line needed to be better, and they delivered. Marner and Matthews each scored a goal 1:13 apart to tie this game back up at two.
It’s clear that the Marner goal went straight to Toronto’s feet, and they not only tied the game back up with Matthews’ eighth of the season, but they continued to pour on the chances, but Jeremy Swayman was dialled in and made some great saves to keep the game tied 2-2. William Nylander also collected an assist on Marner’s goal, which extended his point streak to 10 games to open the season.
Both teams went into the second intermission all tied up at two, with Toronto holding the narrow lead in shots, 27-25.
All tied up at two heading into the final period of regulation, the Toronto Maple Leafs were back in this thing after clawing back from a two-goal deficit with two huge goals from Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. This team needed to try and grab the win here in the third period to end this two-game losing streak before heading back home and opening a lengthy five-game homestand. However, the third period presented zero goals from either team, and it was more of a goalie showdown between Swayman and Samsonov as both teams combined for 18 shots in the third period (10-8 for Boston).
Both teams had chances to take the lead late in the frame and grab the potential game-winning goal, but we were headed to some extra hockey as the final horn sounded at TD Garden.
Similar to the overtime period against the Nashville Predators, the Maple Leafs lost the opening face-off and didn’t touch the puck for the longest time. Luckily, the Bruins didn’t score with all the puck possession they had, and Toronto finally touched the puck but couldn’t register a single shot in the overtime period. Boston pretty much dominated the five minutes, outshooting Toronto 5-0 and also receiving a power play due to a William Nylander penalty on David Pastrnak. Samsonov and the penalty killers did a great job at killing off the four-on-three to force a shootout. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I don’t like the shootout, win or lose. It’s an uneventful way to end the game after a thrilling three-on-three overtime period.
Toronto would lose in the shootout as Boston scored twice, and Toronto couldn’t beat Swayman. Toronto dropped their record to 5-3-2, while Boston improved theirs to 9-0-1.
Who stood out:
If you read the pregame article, I wrote that the top line, along with Tyler Bertuzzi and Ilya Samsonov, would have my attention. Well, it’s safe to say Matthews and Marner played well last night and were the reason Toronto clawed back down 2-0 to tie the game up and eventually grab a point in the shootout. Ilya Samsonov also had a great showing last night too. It hasn’t been the start he or the team had hoped for, but the 26-year-old turned aside 38 shots in a losing effort, and it was by far his best performance of the season thus far.
For Tyler Bertuzzi, it’s been a weird start to his Leafs tenure. I don’t think he has looked amazing by any means, but I also don’t think he has looked terrible, so I don’t know why he was demoted to the fourth line last night. There was some anticipation for a revenge game goal from the Sudbury native, but instead, he registered four shots and two hits in just 11:32 of ice time.
You can catch the Toronto Maple Leafs’ next game on Sportsnet Saturday night at home when they host the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT.
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