Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Game 57: Black and Blue

Has anyone seen Phil Kessel? Apparently the Toronto Maple Leaf's fans have not seen the goal scorer for some time. At their most recent home game, Maple Leaf's fans were handed out a bounty poster with Kessel on it. Well, he was spotted in Boston tonight as the 636th game between the Leafs and the Bruins took place.

Toronto was 23-27-6 coming into the game and the Bruins own an 11-1-2 record against them in the past 14 meetings. Tonight we also witnessed the stealer play of Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who leads the team with 33 assists. Kaberle has been in trade rumor discussions with the Bruins as of late. Could the puck moving defenseman be bound for Boston?

Zach Hamill and Jordan Caron were sent back down to Providence due to the return of Daniel Paille from suspension and Tyler Seguin being inserted into the line-up for the second straight game after being a healthy scratch for the games against Montreal and Detroit. Johnny Boychuk was the healthy scratch on defense tonight as Steve Kampfer returned to action.

Great passing and fancy puck moving was the story of the first period. Both defenses were quick to dump the puck, but it was evident that the speed of the Bruin's forwards got the better of the Maple Leafs.

A beautiful pass from Gregory Campbell was chased down by Mark Stuart, who found Daniel Paille behind the net to put the B's on top 1-0. The puck hit the Toronto player and was deflected into the goal as Paille tried to pass to Campbell, but Paille got credit for the goal.

Phil Kessel was indeed found tonight as he scored on a power play that tied the game. It is his first goal in 15 games against the Bruins. The two teams were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.

The second period was a different story. The Bruin's forwards were out-muscled and bumped off the puck too easily. Miscommunication between Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara led to the Leafs scoring a relatively easy goal to go up 2-1. Mikhail Grabovski was the goal scorer, his 23rd of the season.

After a couple of failed power play attempts, Campbell scored on the man advantage to tie the game at two at the end of the period. Brad Marchand and Michael Ryder had the assists on that second goal.

About halfway through the third period, Patrice Bergeron scored his 20th goal of the season to put the B's in front 3-2. That guy named Kessel tied it up at three on another power play goal. With a minute left in the game, Grabovski scores his second of the game to give Toronto the 4-3 victory. Not a good way to end your last home game of the month of February.

Gold Star: Gregory Campbell (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 hits, 75% face-offs won)
Black Star: Dennis Seidenberg...you have to play tighter defense. Grabovski went right through to zone to put in the game winner at your expense.

Now the Bruins are hitting the road for six games. During that time the TD Garden will play host to Toy Story 3 On Ice, which is not a bad trade off.

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