By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins made sure the second leg of a home-and-home with the Maple Leafs wasn’t haunted by a slow start, but instead by yet another ridiculous goal from goal-scoring juggernaut David Pastrnak.
With what would have been his first goal of the night wiped off the board due a successful offsides challenge from Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, Pastrnak used a power-play opportunity to straight-up embarrass Michael Hutchinson for his 10th goal of the season, good for a 1-0 lead through the opening 20 minutes of play in Boston.
Carrying a one-goal lead into the second period, the Bruins sputtered on an early-period power-play opportunity, and Anders Bjork’s solo rush to the inside banged off the pipe behind Hutchinson and sent Toronto the other way.
On a rush towards Tuukka Rask, and with the Boston back-checkers hunched over, Alex Kerfoot fed Kasperi Kapanen for a one-time blast that beat Rask at the 4:23 mark of the second period to bring the sides even at 1-1.
But Boston’s first line made sure it didn’t last.
With the Leafs pinned in their defensive zone yet again, and with the B’s first line snaking around the attacking zone, Pastrnak hit Brad Marchand with a gorgeous spinning tape-to-tape pass that gave No. 63 all the time needed to snipe one home.
Pastrnak with an absurd pass to setup Marchand pic.twitter.com/FeSA5ERHLg— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 23, 2019
Toronto was able to even things up once again, however, as Zdeno Chara was whistled for a trip, which opened the ice up enough for Kerfoot to put a bullet of a shot through Rask to tie things up at 2-2 with 7:06 remaining in the second.
Deadlocked at 2-2 in the third period, it wasn’t until a blocked shot and loose puck for Brett Ritchie that the Bruins jumped ahead with their third goal of the night, scored by Ritchie at the 6:35 mark of the period. The goal was good for Ritchie’s second of the season (and his first since opening night), and gave Boston at least three goals for the fifth straight contest.
The Bruins straight-up stymied the Leafs from that point on, at one point holding Toronto without a shot on goal for well over 10 minutes in a third period they were chasing before Sean Kuraly was whistled for a high-stick.
Boston killed off the penalty, and made the Leafs pay two-fold by way of a two-on-one finished off by ex-Leaf Par Lindholm for his first goal in a B’s uniform. Lindholm had just one goal in over 60 games between the Leafs and Jets last year.
Their third lead of the night turned out to be the one they needed, too, as Rask turned aside all eight shots faced in the period for a 28-save effort, good for his fourth victory of the year. The Leafs’ Hutchinson made 35 saves in defeat.
The Bruins skated without forwards David Krejci (upper-body), Karson Kuhlman (lower-body), and Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body) in this contest. This was Krejci’s third straight missed game, Nordstrom’s second, and Kuhlman’s first.
In addition to this being Rask’s 500th NHL game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was behind the bench for what his 200th game as head coach of the Black and Gold. Pastrnak, meanwhile, recorded his 300th point of his NHL career in the game.
Cassidy’s squad will return to the ice on Saturday night for a 2019 Stanley Cup Final rematch with the Blues.