Boston! City of beans, tea, and my sixth grade end of year trip. As Maple Leafs fans we are much too familiar with the city and it's hockey team, and tonight the Leafs played their 685th game against the Bruins, and the 332nd game in Boston. Coming into tonight they were 23-30-8 in the Toronto Dominion Garden, hardly living up to it's name.
The Leafs charged right into the Bruins zone, but quickly lost contorl of the puck. The Bruins held onto it, waiting for the perfect moment to launch their first attack and it was successful, forcing Ilya Samsonov to make a quick save to keep the Bruins from scoring on their first shot.
It's a very even game with both teams giving their fans something to cheer about. The Bruins have a slight edge in offense, getting more through traffic onto the net, but no one gets a goal early on.
The Leafs aren't perfect, and a former friend tries to open the scoring, but James van Riemsdyk is kept at bay.
The game is fast paced with each team going up the ice, changing lines, defending back down, then getting possession and skating up. Very few whistles, no offsides or icing. Fast skating, puck passing, very good game to watch, yet hard to describe because it's all happening at once and quickly.
William Nylander tries to keep his point streak alive when he gets a breakaway on the Bruins net, but hits the post on the shot of the point.
The shots are coming fast and furious for both teams, and the tempo has not slowed one bit. Auston Matthews is being given plenty of room around the perimeter to skate at full speed, the Bruins are concentrating on clogging the middle and taking away passing chances.
After the Leafs pen the Bruins in their own zone for over a minute, the Bruins come back into the Leafs end and the feel of the game changes. The Bruins are setting up plays, getting passes off. The crowd is getting more energetic, and with just over a minute remaining in the third period, the Bruins score. Pavel Zacha scores, and rookie Mason Lohrei gets his first NHL point with the assist.
Boston Bruins take a 1-0 lead.
Despite Ryan Reaves intimidating the opposing team, Brad Marchand gives Timothy Liljegren a can opener, stick between the legs move, and Liljegren is helped off the ice. Of course no penalty is called, as is tradition against the Bruins.
The first period ends on a low note, and the second starts with a couple great chances for Boston, making Ilya Samsonov work hard to keep the lead at one, but the Bruins press on and get their second goal after a Brad Marchand rebound gets to Jake DeBrusk.
We are less than three minutes into the second period and the Bruins have seven shots. This game has gone from nice and fun and fast and even to a goddamn Maple Leafs vs Bruins game.
David Pastrnak gets called for tripping TJ Brodie, apparently the referees can see in this game.
The Bruins penalty kill is 36/37 this season, so the Leafs power play has it's work cut out for it. The PK does it's job, dumping out the puck and clogging the passing lanes, the Leafs have no chances, and the power play ends with no goals.
The Maple Leafs finally get a quality shot after escaping their own zone, Mitch Marner gets a pass from Matthews at the Bruins blueline, and he shoots and scores to cut the lead to one goal.
Boston 2 - Toronto 1
The Leafs rally back, and Auston Matthews shoots from the face off circle through traffic and he gets one past Jeremy Swayman. Tie game at twos.
The Refs feel guilty about whiffing on the Liljegren injury, and the Leafs get their second powerplay of the period as Brandon Carlo holds Pontus Holmberg.
This power play gets more chances than the first, Nylander, Marner, Tavares all getting in close and personal at the Bruins goal.
John Klingberg is the weak link on the powerplay. letting the Bruins almost score shorthanded by easily coming in alone to the Leafs end, thankfully Samsonov is there to save the day.
Jeremy Swayman is the only reason the Leafs haven't taken the lead. He is standing on his head this power play.
No goal on the power play, not for want of trying.
Calle Järnkrok almost makes it 3-2, but his shot goes wide. After a disastrous start to the second the Leafs are coming back and gaining the offensive advantage.
Nylander and Tavares team up in the Bruins end for a near chance to take the lead, Tavares is right at the net but he can't get it past Swayman.
There's no last second goal this time for the Bruins, after two the game is tied at twos.
Knies-Tavares-Nylander start the third period and Knies gets the puck in deep, but is knocked off his feet and into the boards, and the Bruins clear the puck.
Bruins rookie Oskar Steen is playing well tonight and unafraid of veterans, which he shows by hitting Mark Giordano into the boards behind the Leafs net.
The Bruins fans think they have a goal, but Ilya Samsonov is able to grab a rolling puck while lying on his side, it gets loose but the play is blown dead.
The Bruins get their first powerplay of the game after Pontus Holmberg is called for interference behind the Leafs net. It's no good for the Bruins, as the Leafs PK plays just as well as the Bruins and they deny the lead taking goal.
The Bruins keep coming in hard though, even after the penalty expires with the crowd groaning at the Bruins inability to score.
Ilya Samsonov is doing his best to keep the Leafs alive as the clock ticks down to the end of the third.
The Bruins are playing with the puck plenty in the Leafs end, making the crowd excited and the Leafs nervous.
There's nothing done at regulation. so we're off to overtime.
Overtime is very evenly matched between the two teams, both teams getting chances, shots, saves, but no goals early on.
William Nylander gets a rare overtime penalty, for holding, giving the Bruins a power play of 4 on 3. Not the time for a make up call.
The Leafs keep the Bruins at bay, but Boston is taking their time with this man advantage. Nothing comes of it, and we are off to a shootout.
Jake DeBrusk is out first, scores easily over the blocker.
William Nylander, misses.
Samsonov can't stop Charlie Coyle, Boston goes up by two.
Auston Matthews misses, and the Bruins win.
The Maple Leafs end up losing to the Bruins in a shootout, 3-2.
It was a rollercoaster game, but the Leafs just couldn't beat the Bruins once again.
The Leafs next game is Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres. That should be a great one. Hopefully.