By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
With secondary scoring finally on the board to pull the Bruins out of a two-goal hole and after some more late-game heroics from David Pastrnak, the only thing that stopped the Bruins in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs turned out to be a whopping 42-save performance from Frederik Andersen and a reckless three-on-three overtime ended by Morgan Rielly.
Down 0-2 from some bad breaks that bopped through Jaroslav Halak, the Bruins pulled themselves within one before the end of the first period by way of Jake DeBrusk’s first goal of the new season, and with a celebration that said it all.
DeBrusk’s goal ended a streak of over 193 minutes without a goal from a player other than Patrice Bergeron and Pastrnak, and got Charlie Coyle on the board with his first assist since the helper the Weymouth, Mass. native recorded on Opening Night.
From there, and with the monkey off the back of Boston’s other 15 skaters, the Bruins skated with some juice, and straight-up dominated the Leafs in the second period, with 15 shots compared to just three fired on net from the hometown Leafs. But the Bruins went 0-for-15 in the middle frame despite some stellar chances, with a net-front look by Bergeron stopped by Andersen, and with a power-play opportunity from DeBrusk just finding enough of Andersen’s pad to deny a sure goal.
But on their third power-play opportunity of the night, it was a sweet feed from Brett Ritchie to Danton Heinen that allowed No. 43 to knot things up at 2-2, just 1:36 into the third period. The goal made Heinen, who scored on a similar power-play bullet on Oct. 3, the first Bruins skater outside of their first line to record multiple goals on the 2019-20 season.
The Maple Leafs, however, wasted no time in responding.
With the Bruins overcommited on a backcheck, Alex Kerfoot found himself in the perfect position to tuck a loose puck through Halak for Toronto’s third goal of the night, scored just 1:01 after Heinen’s strike.
But in what was a suspiciously quiet night for the Black and Gold’s first line, it took just one late-game favorable bounce and some smart maneuvering for Brad Marchand to tee up an absolute beauty of a bomb from Pastrnak to tie things up at 3-3.
Pushed to overtime on the back of No. 88 for the second straight game, the Bruins never quite seemed to find their footing in the extra frame, while the open ice allowed the Maple Leafs to play to their strengths — and with their best on the ice — as Auston Matthews to Mitch Marner to Rielly was all Toronto needed to push themselves ahead of an exhausted B’s group.
The defeat came as a mixed bag of sorts for Halak, as the veteran made some gigantic stops to keep the Bruins in this game in the third period, but also allowed a few tricklers through to put Toronto ahead in both the first and third period.
Patrice Bergeron, who missed Friday’s practice due to a lower-body suffered on a blocked shot in Thursday’s shootout loss to the Lightning, suited up for the Bruins and finished with one assist and six shots on net in 21:38 of time on ice.
Bruins forwards David Krejci and Joakim Nordstrom, meanwhile, did not make the trip due to injury. Both are dealing with upper-body issues, and the Bruins have yet to comment on their availability for the B’s upcoming homestand.
The Bruins return to Boston for a Tuesday night battle with these same Maple Leafs.