Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 2
Frazer McLaren couldn’t stop a smile from creasing his face.
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ enforcer made the most of his 5:41 of
playing time by jamming in the winning goal in a 3-2 victory over
the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
After linemate Colton Orr got him the puck at the edge of the
crease early in the third period, McLaren found himself running out
of room. Trying to go to the backhand, he ended up tucking the puck
between his legs, off his right skate and through the legs of
Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin 1:34 into the third.
It was his third goal of the season and the fourth of his NHL
career and extended Toronto’s lead to 3-0.
”You’ve got to work to be in the lineup every night and I’ve
sat (out) a couple of the last few games,” the 6-foot-5, 230-pound
McLaren said. ”Any time you can contribute, especially on the
scoresheet and it turns out to be a game-winner, it’s a good
confidence boost. ”
McLaren was clearly enjoying talking about scoring rather than
knocking an opponent out with one punch, as he did earlier this
season when he floored Ottawa’s Dave Dziurzynski.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs meet again Monday night in
”We have three more periods in a very tough building where we
haven’t had success before and it’s going to take a more intense
effort than we had tonight to go in there and have success,”
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.
The Bruins had won their last eight games against the Leafs,
dating back to the 2010-11 season. Toronto’s last victory over
Boston was March 31, 2011 – 4-3 in a shootout.
”We were getting pretty sick and tired of it so I’m glad we
changed that tonight,” said Toronto’s Nazem Kadri, who continued
his hot hand with the opening goal.
The Leafs made the most of their limited chances as they had
four shots in the first period, five in the second and four in the
third but managed to score a goal in each.
James Reimer was busy as Boston outshot Toronto 33-13.
”When you win a hockey game and you only get 13 shots and the
opposition gets 33, I don’t think you can really say that was your
game plan,” Carlyle said.
Mikhail Grabovski also scored for Toronto.
Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, with the goalie pulled for
an extra attacker, had the Bruins’ goals.
”It wasn’t there for the first 40 (minutes),” Seidenberg said.
”But when we did get desperate you see how we can play. It doesn’t
really help playing that way when you’re down 3-0. We got to start
playing that way at the beginning of the game.”
The Bruins wrapped up their four-game road trip at 1-3-0 while
totaling just five goals and going 0 for 9 on the power play.
Kadri, who came into the game 10th in league scoring with 33
points (13 goals, 20 assists), has three goals and six assists in
his last four games.
Toronto, which came into the game having won just one of its
last seven, looked sloppy for much of the evening. Still, the Leafs
somehow emerged with two points.
”The bottom line is we won the hockey game,” said Toronto
captain Dion Phaneuf. ”It’s a big win for our team. … Now we
refocus, we regroup and we get ready for Monday.”
Kadri opened the scoring at 4:58 of the first with his 14th of
the season, beating Khudobin on a low shot after receiving a nifty
pass from Clarke MacArthur that under Seidenberg’s stick.
The goal marked the first time Toronto had led Boston since Oct.
20, 2011 when Dave Steckel scored the opening goal in a 6-2
Two seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Orr and Shawn Thornton
squared off with the Leafs bruiser winning a lengthy fight.
Grabovski made it 2-0 on Toronto’s first shot of the second
period at 2:52 after flying past Milan Lucic. It was his eighth
goal of the season and second in two games after a 10-game
Boston coach Claude Julien replaced Khudobin with Tukka Rask
after McLaren made it 3-0.
”The way we gave up the three goals – they were mistakes,”
said Julien. ”The last goal was a weak goal and I had to give our
team a jolt somehow, so I put Tuukka in there and we seemed to turn
the corner and play a bit more of our game, but we shouldn’t wait
for that to happen.”
Boston got on the board at 2:30 of the third when Seidenberg’s
shot from the point trickled through a screened Reimer. The Bruins
came on hard after that, hitting the post twice.
Ference cut the lead to 3-2 with 1:16 remaining and Rask on the
bench for an extra attacker.
The Bruins were playing without injured defencemen Johnny
Boychuk and Adam McQuaid.
Toronto’s Liles left the game in the second period after a
sliding Daniel Paille hit him at the boards. He suffered what was
termed a lower-body injury and did not return.
Carlyle said X-rays were negative, meaning it was more of a
sprain than anything broken or torn.
NOTES: The Leafs honored former captain Mats Sundin before the
game. Sundin, a member of the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame induction
class who was slated to be feted during one of the games eliminated
by the lockout, dropped the ceremonial puck. Fans showed the big
Swede lots of love every time he was shown on the video screen.