After blowing a four-goal lead heading into the third period against the Florida Panthers before losing, 5-4, in a shootout on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins entered Scotiabank Arena on a four-game losing streak.
The B’s snapped their four-game losing streak with a, 4-2, victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
Brad Marchand had a pair of goals in his 700th career National Hockey League game en route to the win, while Tuukka Rask (8-2-2 record, 2.14 goals against average, .927 save percentage in 12 games played) made 29 saves on 31 shots against for a .935 SV% in the win for the Bruins.
Maple Leafs goaltender, Frederik Andersen (9-4-3, 2.74 GAA, .912 SV% in 16 GP) stopped 30 out of 33 shots faced for a .912 SV% in the loss.
Boston maintained 1st place in the Atlantic Division, while improving to 12-3-4 (28 points) on the season.
Toronto fell to 9-8-4 (22 points) and remained 4th in the Atlantic as a result of the loss.
The Bruins improved to 5-3-1 on the road this season and snapped their first four-game losing streak since Nov. 2017 in the process.
Once more the Bruins were without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder), Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), David Backes (upper body), Jake DeBrusk (lower body), Brett Ritchie (upper body) and Torey Krug (upper body) due to various injuries.
Zach Senyshyn (lower body) joined them on the long list of players out of the lineup against Toronto on Friday after being injured in Tuesday night’s matchup against the Panthers. He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks.
As a result, Trent Frederic was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) and inserted on the third line left wing alongside Par Lindholm and Danton Heinen.
Frederic has five assists in 15 games with Providence this season and skated in 15 games with Boston last season.
Boston head coach, Bruce Cassidy, left his lines the same as Tuesday night with the exception of Frederic’s addition in place of Senyshyn.
Urho Vaakanainen was paired with Connor Clifton on the third defensive pairing while Matt Grzelcyk was bumped up to the second pairing with Brandon Carlo, as well as the first power play unit.
Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy remained together on the first pairing, while Steven Kampfer was the only healthy scratch for the Bruins against the Maple Leafs.
Midway through the first period, Bjork sent Grzelcyk behind the goal whereby the Bruins defender then flipped a pass from the trapezoid to Coyle (3) as No. 13 in black-and-gold ripped a shot high past Andersen’s glove on the short side to give Boston a, 1-0, lead.
The goal was Coyle’s first in seven games and was assisted by Grzelcyk (4) and Bjork (1) at 13:48 of the first period.
Less than a minute later, David Pastrnak was assessed an interference minor after bumping John Tavares while the Leafs captain did not have possession of the puck at 14:09.
Toronto did not convert on the ensuing power play.
Shortly after exiting the penalty box, Pastrnak was held by Nicholas Shore, resulting in a minor infraction for Shore at 16:37 and a power play for Boston.
The Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on the skater advantage.
After one period of play at Scotiabank Arena Friday night, Boston led Toronto, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite trailing in shots on goal, 9-8.
The B’s led in blocked shots (9-2) and hits (16-9), while the Maple Leafs held the advantage in giveaways (7-2) and faceoff win percentage (74-26) entering the first intermission.
Both teams had two takeaways each and were 0/1 on the power play entering the second period.
Toronto announced that forward, Trevor Moore (shoulder), would not return to the night’s action prior to the end of the first period and was short a skater for the remainder of the game.
Jake Muzzin let go of a shot from the point that was redirected by Auston Matthews (14) and found its way past Rask to tie the game, 1-1, at 9:20 of the second period.
The ref closest to the goal ruled it a goal, while the ref farthest away from the action deemed it “no goal” thinking Matthews altered the direction of the puck with a high stick, but after an official review, the call on the ice (the one made by the ref at the goalframe) stood.
Muzzin (8) and William Nylander (9) tabbed the assists on Matthews’ goal as the Leafs tied the game midway through the middle frame.
Moments later, Andreas Johnsson tripped up McAvoy– yielding a power play for Boston at 11:11.
The Bruins did not capitalize on their second power play opportunity of the night and instead took a penalty of their own late in the period.
Patrice Bergeron took a skate to the sin bin for slashing Tavares at 16:52 and the Maple Leafs went on the power play.
Toronto did not score on the ensuing skater advantage, despite heavy pressure in the attacking zone.
Through 40 minutes of play, the game was tied, 1-1.
The Leafs led in shots on goal, 24-19, after two periods– including a, 15-11, advantage in the second period alone. Toronto also led in giveaways (9-5) and faceoff win% (63-37) entering the second intermission.
Boston led in blocked shots (20-6) and hits (24-18) after two periods, while both teams had three takeaways each and were 0/2 on the power play heading into the third period.
Marchand (12) pocketed his own rebound on a quick break off the opening faceoff to begin the final frame of regulation with a goal 11 seconds into the third period.
Carlo (5) and Bergeron (11) had the assists as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead.
Less than four minutes later, Kasperi Kapanen (6) tied the game with a catch-and-release shot from point blank while Rask performed a split from one side of the crease to the other.
Tavares (8) and Zach Hyman (1) notched the assists on Kapanen’s goal at 3:56 of the third period and the two teams swapped a pair of goals in a 3:45 span.
Marchand (13) tallied his 2nd goal of the game after once again gathering his own rebound and finding the back of the twine– this time after a quick shot that was stopped by Anderson’s glove initially, but rebounded to the Bruins forward as Marchand crashed the slot, picked up his own rebound and slid the rubber biscuit under Andersen’s leg pad for the eventual game-winning goal at 5:08.
Coyle (6) and David Krejci (8) collected the assists on Marchand’s 2nd goal as Boston pulled ahead with a, 3-2, lead just 1:12 after Toronto tied the game.
The two teams combined for three goals in a 4:57 span.
With 1:51 remaining in regulation, Maple Leafs head coach, Mike Babcock, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker in a last ditch effort to tie the game.
It did not go as planned, however, as Sean Kuraly sent the puck deep into the offensive zone, fished it out from along the wall and forced the play back to Chara as the seconds ticked down.
The Bruins captain then blasted a shot from the point for his 4th goal of the season as Chara (4) notched the empty net goal at 18:27 of the third period on an unassisted effort.
Boston sealed the deal on a, 4-2, victory that was ensured at the sound of the final horn.
The B’s finished the night leading in shots on goal, 34-31, and led in shots on net in the third period alone, 15-7.
Boston also wrapped up the action with the advantage in blocked shots (22-10) and hits (35-24), while Toronto finished the game leading in giveaways (13-8) and faceoff win% (63-37).
The two teams finished 0/2 on the power play Friday night as no penalties were called in the third period.
The Bruins are now 10-2-2 when scoring the game’s first goal this season and 9-1-0 when leading after the first period.
Boston returns home to take on the Washington Capitals on the second day of back to back games on Saturday. The Bruins then travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils next Tuesday (Nov. 19th) before a two-game homestand against Buffalo (Nov. 21st) and Minnesota (Nov. 23rd).
The B’s close out November with back to back nights in Montreal (Nov. 26th) and Ottawa (Nov. 27th) before finishing the month at home against the New York Rangers in a Black Friday matinee on Nov. 29th.
Of note, per the NHL’s PR team, Chara is now the fourth defender in NHL history to record a point streak of three or more games at the age of 42 or older, joining Chris Chelios (four games in 2003-04 with the Detroit Red Wings, and again over three games with Detroit in 2006-07), Tim Horton (three games in 1972-73 with the Buffalo Sabres) and Doug Harvey (three games in 1968-69 with the St. Louis Blues).
Meanwhile, Marchand is the first player in NHL history to score a goal in the opening 15 seconds of a period on seven occasions (including OT).