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Recap: Bruins outduel Leafs 4-2

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One excellent period was not enough.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, I hope everyone has their mind-altering substance of choice on hand for tonight’s game. I’m super boring, mine is chocolate. Theoretically that will make this recap coherent (lol).

It’s the start of Hall of Fame weekend and all I can think is “guys, don’t embarrass yourselves in front of Wick”. I know they see her often and everything but this is a big night for her and they need to show up, weird zombie lineup that they are. Toronto’s welcome when her name was announced tonight was amazing.

First period

The Gauthier line is the first to get offensive zone time of any extent which is perhaps not great.

The Matthews line swarms the Boston net and William Nylander takes a stick to the face. No high sticking call, of course. (Do we want a power play tonight?)

Andreas Johnsson receives a stretch pass from Auston Matthews and drags himself to the net under pressure. Doesn’t score but also does well not to crash into the goalie.

Freddie gives up a rebound and finds the puck in about the same second to deny what seemed like an inevitable goal.

Even when he’s not successful, watching John Tavares battle to keep control of a puck through several Bruins is a thing of beauty.

Trevor Moore collides with Chris Wagner at the Bruins blueline and loses his helmet. We appreciate your flow, Trevor, just not mid-game. Moore ends up going to the room.

Charlie Coyle loses his helmet after a hit by Matthews and we learn that you do not have to get off the ice right away if the play is still in progress (or something, I wasn’t quite clear) he stays on quite a while before heading off to avoid the penalty.

Leafs get a bunch of close calls (including a moment when Jason Spezza misses an open net) but it’s Charlie Coyle who opens the scoring.

Buckle up, it’s the Leafs first power play with the new units. David Pastrnak goes to the box after a chancy hit on Tavares that’s called interference.

Nylander has trouble controlling the puck which sends the puck out of the zone and then again allowed a shot on Freddie. Second unit comes out with 25s left. One shot on goal on that power play.

Kasperi Kapanen gets close right after the advantage expires.

Now a Leaf penalty kill. Nick Shore heads off for holding Pastrnak. Boston threatens a few times but Toronto kills it off.

Aaand Leafs announce Moore is done for the night. Hardev would like you all to know that’s Pierre Engvall’s music. (Last I checked, Hardev was not GM of the Leafs so I’d hold on that.)

Toronto outshoots Boston 9-8 that period. It’s the misses that smart the most.

Second period

NHL.com had a Leafs goal up at 0:00 of the second period and for a second I thought maybe I had hit the remote and was on delay. No, just a glitch.

Spezza almost gets a breakaway and Rask comes out to take the puck away. Petan follows that up and Spezza’s on the doorstop but Rask is still there.

Pastrnak flies into the Leafs zone and is only deterred at the last second by Kapanen’s stick.

I would like to take a moment to appreciate Ilya Mikheyev and his persistence.

I feel like the Bruins are having more trouble getting through the neutral zone this period. Not sure the numbers bear that out, but there you go, from someone who is Watching The Game(tm).

Woof, Gauthier just levelled a Bruin to massive cheers. He changes and the Matthews line get some pressure at the net, followed by a Boston icing.

Finally! Auston Matthews tips a Jake Muzzin one-timer into the net. There’s some review to check if it was scored with a high stick, but it’s a good goal. Tie game.

Leafs follow up their extensive offensive zone pressure with more offensive zone pressure. I dunno guys, this almost looks like a good team.

Nylander turns the puck over to Sean Kuraly who gets a hell of a breakaway but misses the net high. (Just because you get the puck from Nylander doesn’t mean you gotta shoot it like Nylander, Kuraly.)

More close chances for the Leafs.

Andreas Johnsson is called for tripping on McAvoy. He’s spent rather a lot of time in the box this season. Bruins get a couple of chances, including a post but the Leafs kill it off with just one shot on goal.

Gauthier is again the instigator of Leafs o-zone time, I don’t know what to do with this information.

Okay Tavares springing Rielly is backwards, guys.

The broadcast points out that Muzzin has looked uncomfortable this period. That’s just what we need, an injured Jake Muzzin.

Kapanen makes a nifty move to set up Tavares, who hits the post and draws a penalty. Toronto gets a fair bit of time with the delayed penalty before play is stopped and Bergeron goes off.

Kuraly gets a shorthanded opportunity and has Lindholm with him. Miraculously this does not result in a Boston goal. Matthews gets more than one good look on the power play. Nic Petan sets both him and Spezza up well.

Cody Ceci fires a puck on net that almost becomes a buzzer-beater, but David Krejci keeps the puck out.

Shots 15-11 in favour of the Leafs that period. They looked damn good.

Third period

Brad Marchand starts the period by walking into the Leafs zone and scoring. 2-1 Boston. I’m sure he’s pleased to have scored in his 700th game.

The Matthews line gets a close call less than a minute later but Matthews tips Johnsson’s shot high.

Zach Hyman is the Zach Hyman we know and love, keeping the play alive and the puck on his stick in order to throw it to Tavares who makes a beauty pass to Kapanen for the tying goal.

Marchand wasn’t willing to let that stand. He sneaks onto the ice, gets open, and gets his own rebound to get his second of the game. 3-2 Boston.

Kapanen is a speedy fucker and somehow creates a chance for Cody Ceci. Just over half a period left now.

Boston gets some zone time with way too many shots on Freddie. Fortunately, he keeps the door closed.

Leafs start countering with o-zone time of their own but it’s several in-and-outs with one shot or less.

Is there anything more frustrating than a zone entry followed by a blind drop pass to the opposing team? Travis Dermott the culprit this time.

Matthews line out with five minutes left. There’s an icing followed by some good pressure. Tavares line follow up.

Joakim Nordstrom gets a few free shots on Andersen.

Leafs icing with 2:27 left. Can’t get zone time long enough to get Andersen out. He leaves at about 1:50.

Zdeno Chara makes it 4-2 with an empty-netter and Tavares breaks his stick against the post on frustration. The puck gets stuck in the net.

Welp.

To be honest, they could have been a lot worse. The second period was impressive, Gauthier looked like a Real Boy, the Tavares line acted like a real line, Matthews looked decent while being double-shifted most of the game.

I... have hope?