B's strike three times in the second period, beat Leafs 5-2
(Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Bruins, playing just 24 hours after their most emotional game of their season, started off their Canadian road trip on the right skate by beating the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre 5-2.
Carl Soderberg, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Jarome Iginla and Patrice Bergeron all tallied goals for the B's, who won their 20th game of the season and reclaimed first place in the Atlantic division.
The game started out rather slow for the B's, and at first it looked like the effects of playing such a heavy game the night before was going to bog the team down. Peter Holland opened the scoring for the Leafs, being the beneficiary of a deflection off a Bruin in front of Chad Johnson, and off the goalie himself.
The Leafs took the 1-0 lead into the second period, but the Bruins finally found their legs in the second frame, striking three time to take the lead.
Carl Soderberg tied the game up in at 5:14 of the second on the powerplay. Both Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith made the play happen with some slick passing, with Smith zipping a tape-to-tape pass right to Soderberg in front of the net and past Jonathan Bernier. Torey Krug blasted home another powerplay goal just a minute later for his 8th of the year. Krug unloaded the slapper from just outside the faceoff circle and was aided by a Zdeno Chara screen in front of Bernier. Milan Lucic and David Krejci outworked two Leafs players in tight areas to free up space for Krug on the far side. Krug skated into his angle and let 'er rip, putting the B's up 2-1.
his first NHL goal (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
The B's made it three in the period, when Kevan Miller recorded his first NHL goal off a wrister from the blueline. It found its way past Bernier, putting the B's up 3-1 with five minutes to go in the period. Carl Soderberg recorded the lone assist on the play, as his faceoff win went directly back to Miller, and Miller skated sideways for an open lane and let it fly.
The Leafs got one back just 37 seconds into the third period, when Jay McClement put back his own rebound off of Johnson at the top of the crease to put the pressure right back on the Bruins. But they never blinked, and eventually added two more in the period to seal the game.
Lucic pulled off his best Bobby Orr impression, charging through all three zones with a head of steam. Looch outskated the entire Leafs team all the way to the icing line before passing it at the net at the last second, where he found Jarome Iginla parked in front of the crease to bat the puck between Bernier's legs at exactly 16:00. It's Iginla's 6th of the season and gave Looch his second assist on the night.
Patrice Bergeron ended the contest with an empty netter with just 11 seconds to go, and giving the B's their 20th win of the season and 42 points overall.
Somehow the refs missed what should have been a major boarding penalty by Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf on Kevan Miller late in the third. Phaneuf launched directly into Miller's numbers and plastered him into the end boards. Miller looked to be concussed on the play. The play will definitely be looked at by the NHL, as the refs really blew it by missing the call.
The Bruins again had to deal with a man-down for pretty much the entire game, as Dougie Hamilton left early in the game with a "knee" injury and did not return. The Bruins tweeted out that Hamilton has a "lower body injury" and will return to Boston and not finish the road trip. The replay didn't look all that bad, as he was simply hit sideways into the boards by Carl Gunnarsson after dumping the puck in the zone.
Bruins backup Chad Johnson is now 5-1 on the season, playing yet another solid game in Tuukka Rask's place. His only loss came versus the Islanders back on Nov. 2nd.
Carl Soderberg (4 G, 10A) and Reilly Smith (6 G, 14 A) continue to impress this season, with Smith's points total putting him third on the team. Both players have been a force on the powerplay unit, giving the B's a much needed boost on special teams.
The Bruins continue their four-game roadie, with next up the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Jarome Iginla will be making his return to Calgary for the first time since switching teams twice this past year. The Flames will certainly have a must-watch tribute to their long-time former captain.