Entering the road portion of their home and home with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins got some good news north of the border as both Brad Marchand and Noel Acciari returned from injury. The Bruins also lucked out as the Leafs were without star forward Auston Matthews who missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.
The Bruins got timely goal scoring and solid goaltending, but a few breakdowns in their own zone, including James van Riemsdyk’s tying goal with 1:00 minute left led to a 3-2 overtime victory for the Maple Leafs.
Here is what we learned following the first of four Bruins-Maple Leafs meetings this year:
Bruins get bodies back:
As mentioned above, the Bruins got two bodies back in Marchand and Acciari. Both forwards played well in their return to the lineup with Marchand picking up an assist on Bergeron’s fourth goal of the season. Acciari tallied one shot on goal and was physically engaged in his 14:47 of ice time.
Late goals sink Bruins:
Prior to Patrick Marleau’s overtime winner, the Maple Leafs were the beneficiaries of a pair of late van Riemsdyk goals in the second and third periods respectively. Both goals by JVR came from just outside the crease as the Bruins defensive woes continued Friday night.
All too often last season the Bruins were victims of the late goal and it certainly cost them in their first game of the season against their Original Six rivals. With points at a premium and the Bruins battling injuries, they can’t be affording to allow these late goals, killing any momentum they have heading into intermissions.
Anton Khudobin solid in return:
In his first game back on the ice from injury, Khudobin was very solid in the loss. You certainly can’t blame him for Friday’s loss. The Bruins’ backup made 30 saves on 33 shots and had some key saves that kept the Maple Leafs from taking any lead in regulation.
As Bruce Cassidy and the coaching staff continues to monitor the workload of Tuukka Rask, the Bruins will need everything they can get from their backup. Khudobin has still yet to lose in regulation.
Bruins remain winless against Frederik Anderson
This season hasn’t been the best of Anderson’s career, but on Friday, the veteran goalie was Toronto’s best player. But that should come to no surprise to anyone as Anderson is now 9-0 in his career against the Bruins. The Bruins finished with 35 shots, Anderson stopped 33 of them.
The Bruins by far had the best chances of the night, but Anderson stood tall and gave the Leafs a chance to steal two points.