Ryan O'Reilly returned to the lineup for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight as they tried to become the first team this season to defeat the Boston Bruins twice in regulation.
The Bruins knew this was the goal, and spent the first period dominating play, controlling the puck, and did not let a single shot get to the net for the first seven minutes.
The Maple Leafs start to show some offense, getting in a couple shots before the first penalty of the game is called: Charlie McAvoy, two for hooking Auston Matthews.
The Maple Leafs don't score on this power play, but get a second chance shortly afterwards thanks to Sam Lafferty and AJ Greer.
Lafferty got five for fighting, as did Greer. Greer also got an instigator, served by Oskar Steen. The Bruins penalty kill is keeping the Leafs power play away from each other, spread out around the zone and unable to get a clear passing lane. Once again, there's no goal with the man advantage.
Both teams are playing each other hard, lots of board battles, corner hits, passing lanes being clogged. Giveaways and takeaways for both at the bluelines.
The first period ends scoreless, and Boston leading 11-7 in shots.
The second begins as the first ended, tight play, lots of time in the neutral zone, but Mitch Marner gets away with the puck after a Hampus Lindholm turnover. He can't get away from the boards and takes a longshot at Jeremy Swayman that rebounds off and across the ice.
The Leafs come back at the Bruins net and Alex Kerfoot almost buries a Luke Schenn rebound, but can't get one into the twine.
Alex Kerfoot gives the Bruins their first power play of the game by taking a high-sticking penalty to break up a Bruins two on one.
There's no Bruins goal, but Ilya Samsonov is tested in the Leafs net with multiple puck scrambles in front of him.
This game has the energy of the playoffs - puck scrambles, corner battles, no one slowing down at all. Aside from the Leafs getting multiple powerplays, that is.
Post-powerplay the Maple Leafs are spending a lot of time in the Bruins end, with Auston Matthews, Jake McCabe, and Zach Aston-Reese all getting good chances that are denied by Jeremy Swayman.
The work the Leafs are doing in the Bruins end pays off, as Sam Lafferty scores the first goal of the game, with the assist going to Zach Aston-Reese.
The celebration is short lived, as Luke Schenn gets called for kneeing Garnett Hathaway, who heads down the tunnel post-hit.
Nothing for the Bruins in their second powerplay, keeping the score at 1-0 Toronto. We do get Noel Acciari using the body against Hampus Lindholm though.
The defense is working together, covering each others mistakes and having their backs.
The Bruins push hard as the clock ticks down, but the second period ends with the score 1-0 Toronto.
Charlie McAvoy does not return to the Bruins bench at the start of the third period. He collided with Patrice Bergeron in the second and then slid into the boards. It may be precautionary, it may have aggravated the injury that kept him out at the start of the season. Oh no, how terrible.
The teams are both playing defense - the Leafs trying to keep their lead and the Bruins denying them the chance to extend it - when we get a rare sight in the NHL: A Brad Marchand penalty at home. The crowd is not impressed.
Another powerplay without a goal, and we're near the midway point of the third period when Jake McCabe trips Charlie Coyle, the two push and shove after the whistle, but it's powerplay number three for Boston.
David Kämpf gets a nice shorthanded breakaway, but can't get the shot as the Bruins defenders catch up to him. The Bruins are getting chances, the crowd roars in anticipation of a goal, but Ilya Samsonov keeps the door shut.
The penalty expires, but the Bruins stay the course, a Luke Schenn clearing attempt is caught with a jump by Brandon Carlo, kept in the Leafs zone by centimeters, and he gets the pass to Charlie Coyle who shoots and scores.
Game is tied 1-1 with eight minutes remaining.
The crowd is heavily into this game on both sides. Very loud, cheering Leafs moves, cheering Bruins moves, everyone booing the refs.
The Leafs aren't backing down, easing off the offense. A close chance to take the lead back comes from Marner and Tavares.
The Leafs pound the puck at the Bruins net, the crowd is on their feet, Matthews is working the puck, and battling for that goal that Swayman won't let happen.
The Bruins take it back to the Leafs for the final minute, Samsonov is making saves and gets lucky when a Dimitry Orlov shot goes high and sounds like it hits the mic on top of the glass. Tie game after 60, we're off to overtime.
The Bruins take off at the opening faceoff, and go hard to the net. Samsonov gets far outside the net, but Brad Marchand misses the wide open chance. Morgan Rielly ends the play, but gets called for hooking. The Bruins call a time out before their 4 on 3 overtime power play.
The Bruins set up around the perimeter, but the Leafs three skaters clog up the middle of their square. David Pastrňák gets a one timer off, but Samsonov makes the save.
Pavel Zacha grabs onto David Kämpf's hand as he goes down. They call Zacha for a hand pass off the face off, but the replay shows Kämpf being the one to move the puck. The penalty is waived off. We got back to a faceoff with 45 seconds remaining in Reillys penalty.
The penalty expires, but the power play is still set up and Pastrňák shoots and scores the overtime winner. Final score: Boston 2 - Toronto 1.
The Maple Leafs lose the game, but gain a point. With the Lightning losing to the Islanders, the Leafs have home ice wrapped up for round one. A positive coming from the loss.
The Maple Leafs come home for their final home game of the season, and take on the Montreal Canadiens at 7PM on Hockey Night in Canada.
- This was Mar Giordano's 1100th NHL game, a rare feat for an undrafted player.
- Jake McCabe played his 500th NHL game.
- Auston Matthews is 3 goals away from 300, and 5th all time in Leafs scoring.
- Mitch Marner is 16 assists from 400, and 6th all time for Leafs assists.
- Auston Matthews is 3 points away from 540 and sole position of 11th all time Leafs points.
Thank you for reading, and we will see you tomorrow.