Saturday, December 3, 2011

Game Twenty Four: A Good Start To December

Saturday night was game two of the home-and-home series between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The three previous meetings between these two teams featured quite lop-sided victories by the B's. This game really seemed like a first place game between two top teams.

The game also was significant because Leafs third-line center Joe Colborne made his return to the TD Garden for the first time since being traded to Toronto. He was part of the deal that brought defenseman Tomas Kaberle to Boston during the late stretch of last season. Looks like that deal really worked out for us....not so much actually.

The goaltenders is this game were both different from Wednesday's game as Tuukka Rask took on James Reimer.The first period seemed really slow. There were some quality scoring chances between the two teams but neither was able to capitalize.

The second period really opened up much more. Both teams really were able to spread the puck out through the seems that the defenders gave them. The Bruins got on the board first when Nathan Horton passed the puck over to David Krejci, who was wide open in front of the net, and he shot the puck past Reimer.

It was 48 seconds later when Mikhail Grabovski tied the game up at one. The goal was assisted by Jake Gardiner and Joey Crabb. Boston grabbed the lead back before the end of the second period. Chris Kelly received a great pass from Rich Peverley and he shot a one-timer past Reimer into the goal.

In the third period, Rask contained the Maple Leafs for the most part by making some key saves. The Bruins offense did their part by completely controlling possession of the puck. The final 20 minutes became a little more chippy since the game was decided early on in the period. Johnny Boychuk and Horton added a goal each to make that possible. The B's defeated the Leafs by a score of 4-1.

Nine Bruins players had points in this game, including two points each from all three first-line players (Lucic, Krejci, Horton). The Maple Leafs have taken the next step in the right direction as far as becoming an elite team, but they do not seem to have an answer for the Bruins. The B's next game will be Monday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk (1 goal, plus-3 rating, 3 shots on goal)...He really stepped up in this game by contributing on both ends of the ice.

Black Star: Zdeno Chara...He was the victim of some pretty questionable calls. Unfortunately, you cannot have everything go your way on a nightly basis.

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