Bruins use three first period goals to beat Maple Leafs
Behind three first period goals, and six in total, the Bruins handed the Maple Leafs their first regulation loss of the season last night. Tim Thomas made 26, and four Bruins had a three point night as the black and gold picked up a much needed win.
The B’s game flying right out of the gate really bringing it to the Leafs, but It was the Leafs who would strike first when David Steckel beat Tim Thomas with a shot from above the slot.
The lead wouldn’t last long as Nathan Horton scored on the power play tying the game at one. Horton collected a loose puck and found the back of the net after Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson failed to hold onto a Zdeno Chara bullet from the point.
Nearly six minutes later the Bruins would head back to the power play and find the same result. After some nice puck movement, Andrew Ference got the puck down to Zdeno Chara who unloaded a cannon just below the faceoff dot that Gustavsson had no chance on.
Chris Kelly would put the B’s up by two after putting home a shot after a Milan Lucic pass trickled to his skate. Kelly’s initial shot was saved, but Kelly kept working and eventually found the back of the net.
Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, and Tyler Seguin would all add third period goals bumping the Bruins up to a 6-1 lead. Mikhail Grabovski would add a late goal for the Leafs, but it was too little to late as the Bruins beat the Leafs 6-2.
Bruins bench boss Claude Julien mixed up the lines a little bit and it immediately paid off, but one of the biggest stories of the night had to be the power play. The Bruins scored twice out of five chances on the power play, but scored on their first two opportunities in the first which ended up being two important goals.
Horton, who scored the Bruins first power play goal, wasn’t sure if they did anything different tonight, but will certainly take the results.
“I don’t know” said Horton. “I think we were moving around really good. I mean it seemed like a couple times we didn’t score and we still, we had a lot of chances. And it was definitely nice to get a power play and feel like you’re, you got all the chances to try to score.”
Chara, who scored the other Bruins power play goal pretty much, felt the same way.
“Well we just kept it simple, I think. And we basically took what they gave us and it was nice to score some goals and be effective that way” said Chara. ”And it’s always a big plus for the team when your specialty teams are coming up big. And you know, also the hard work in the offensive zone is getting rewarded on the power play and then we see scoring.”
Another big story was Milan Lucic who finally found the scoring sheet. Lucic had a goal and two assists, and for the first time all season looked comfortable on the ice.
“Obviously it’s good to break that, get that first one of the year and I think today, my focus wasn’t on scoring and like we talked about just playing that straight line type of game” said Lucic “And moving my feet and I think that’s why everything else kind of fell into place like usual.”
Heading into the game with the Bruins, former Bruin Phil Kessel led the NHL in the points, Zdeno Chara and company held Kessel pointless and to just one shot on goal.
“Well we know that he’s having a hell of a year so far, he is on top of the league and he is playing extremely well” said the Bruins Captain. “And we were just trying to obviously play really tight and take away as much time and space for him.”
The Bruins will once again welcome an old friend back when Joe Thornton and the Sharks visit the Garden Saturday night.