BOSTON (AP) — The NHL-best Boston Bruins haven’t misplaced back-to-back video games all season, and so they wished to maintain it that approach.
“The sport meant extra to us than I imagined earlier than the sport,” coach Jim Montgomery mentioned after Boston bounced again from its first shutout of the season and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Saturday night time.
“And I’m glad it did,” Montgomery added. “We’re happy with not having misplaced two in a row. There was a function to what we had been doing — not solely as a result of it was a second-place workforce in Toronto that we had been enjoying, however we don’t need to lose two in a row.”
Two nights after being shut out by the Seattle Kraken — Boston’s first regulation loss at dwelling all season — Matt Grzelcyk scored with 76 seconds left to assist the Bruins beat Toronto for the primary time in 5 tries since earlier than the pandemic.
Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and A.J. Greer additionally scored for Boston, and Linus Ullmark stopped 18 pictures. The Bruins have the NHL’s finest document and 70 factors in 42 video games — 11 factors forward of Atlantic Division rival Toronto; the Carolina Hurricanes are No. 2 within the league with 61 factors.
Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, and Matt Murray made 30 saves. The groups fought twice, together with a scrum on the finish of the second interval that led to 10-minute misconduct penalties towards Wayne Simmonds and Greer.
“I haven’t performed within the playoffs within the NHL, however I can positively really feel it by way of the constructing,” Greer mentioned. “It was an excellent win, and a rewarding win in entrance of our followers. It’s Bruins hockey. It’s electrical.”
Toronto led 1-0 and 2-1 earlier than Boston took its first lead at 3-2 on Greer’s aim halfway by way of the second interval. However Matthews, coming back from an undisclosed damage that price him two video games, tied it for Toronto early within the third.
It stayed that approach till Grzelcyk slapped the puck by way of a display screen and into the web. Murray complained that he had been interfered with, however there was no problem.
After the sport, the Bruins introduced they signed Pavel Zacha to a four-year extension with an annual cap hit of $4.75 million. Zacha, 25, has 5 targets and 20 assists this season.
Zacha spent the primary seven years of his profession with New Jersey, which picked him sixth total within the 2015 draft, earlier than he was traded to Boston final summer time for Erik Haula. Zacha has 74 targets and 130 assists in his profession.
Simmonds and Boston’s Nick Foligno bought right into a struggle within the first interval that lasted a number of minutes earlier than they drained themselves out and the officers moved in to interrupt it up. After they did, Simmonds tapped his former Maple Leafs teammate on the pinnacle approvingly.
However there was extra animosity on the finish of the second, when the groups hesitated earlier than leaving the ice. Simmonds wanted to be escorted again to the bench whereas he was jawing with Greer.
“There’s gamers on their workforce that sure guys on our workforce don’t like. And I’m positive it’s the identical approach” for Toronto, Montgomery mentioned. “That’s what makes for a rivalry and that’s why it was such a heated, good hockey sport.”
HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES
The Bruins had killed off 18 straight penalties earlier than Bunting opened the scoring with a power-play aim. Boston tied it when the Maple Leafs left Bergeron alone within the slot, and he nonchalantly redirected a move from Brad Marchand into the web.
Engvall gave Toronto one other lead early within the second when he cut up two defencemen with a wrist shot that beat Ullmark. Three minutes later, Pastrnak deflected a move within the Boston zone and chased it down, racing down the left facet with Marchand closing on the suitable.
Pastrnak stored it, and put the puck by way of Murray’s legs to make it 2-2.
Halfway by way of the second, Ullmark misplaced his stick however nonetheless managed to make a diving glove save — regardless of Boston ahead Taylor Corridor crashing into him — on Mark Giordano. The Bruins got here away with the puck, with Tomas Nosek bringing it into the Toronto zone and drawing away a defender earlier than passing it to Foligno, who centred it to Greer for the aim.
Zacha hit the submit of an open internet on a shot that would have given Boston a 4-2 lead. As a substitute, Matthews tied it 3-all three minutes into the third.
Toronto: Hosts the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Boston: Hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.
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