BOSTON — It didn’t take long for the Bruins to set the tempo for the second straight game.
Highlighted by goals from Chris Kelly (his 17th just 2:25 in), Gregory Campbell (his 8th at 5:40), Benoit Pouliot (his 11th at 10:58), and Brad Marchand (a power play tally at 12:42, his 24th) just 10:17 apart; and fights between Campbell and Luke Schenn and Milan Lucic and Mike Komisarek — renewing acquaintances for old-time sakes — the Black and Gold used another quick first period start to pummel the hapless Toronto Maple Leafs in the final game between the two teams during their 8-0 win in front of the 121st consecutive sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Garden.
“You can never predict a[n] 8-0 game,” said Campbell. “I think what’s a positive thing is that we competed not only for 20 and 40 minutes, but for 60 minutes.
“It’s one thing to score eight goals, but it’s another to really be stingy defensively and ultimately play our strengths.”
Unlike the game on Saturday when the Flyers came back to force overtime, the Bruins played to their strengths, as Campbell alluded to, and kept their foot on the gas pedal.
Brian Rolston tallied three of his four points in the middle twenty on a goal and two assists in that span, while Pouliot added his second of the night at 2:31 and captain Zdeno Chara added a power play tally — his 10th of the year — just 3:14 after Pouliot’s 12th of the season.
By the end of the second, the Bruins had the same amount of goals (seven) as the Leafs had shots.
“I think we deserved a game like that because we went through a stretch there it seemed that everything went wrong,” Rolston said. “I thought we came out good tonight and you can build on that as you go.”
The Leafs eventually fired six third period shots for 13 total, but made Tim Thomas’ night easy en route to another shutout. The same can’t be said for the Leafs goaltending — James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson — which stopped 16 of 24 shots combined amounting to a .666 save percentage.
“I don’t think there’s much more to say. We did not play well,” said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. “We didn’t come ready to start, and when you play a team as skilled and as hardworking as them — and you don’t come ready to start in their building — that’s what happens. And that’s what happened to us tonight.”
Adding further injury to insult, Tyler Seguin was greeted once again by “Thank you Kessel” chants from what was left of the Bruins faithful with his 26th goal of the season at 18:29 of the third to cap things off before their three-game California trip.
With two straight home wins under their belt after a disastrous two games against the Lightning and Panthers in Florida, the Black and Gold will look to capitalize on their current momentum in the first game of that California trip Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks.
“These two games were important,” Kelly said. “Obviously going out west is no easy feat. And I thought we handled ourselves well against Philly and again tonight so it’s a stepping stone in the right direction and we can have a good practice tomorrow and build on those two games.”