By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Brad Marchand made the most of his 700th career game, scoring twice in the third period en route to a 4-2 win for the Bruins over the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. The Bruins finally got back to their winning ways after losing four straight, including two shootout losses.
After both teams had a fairly even exchange of chances in the first 13 minutes, the Bruins struck first off the stick of Charlie Coyle late in the opening period. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk pinched down low and retrieved the puck as he circled behind the net, finding an open Coyle in the slot who fired it past Frederik Andersen to make it 1-0 Bruins.
It felt like Coyle needed to shoot more, especially as he moved to David Krejci’s right wing, and he certainly showed off his better-than-you-might-think release on the goal.
The teams traded power plays to close out the first and the B’s held the one-goal advantage after one. But of course, the story for the most part with the Bruins has been the second and third periods.
Boston got off to a good enough start in the second, grabbing eight of the first 14 shots on net. But eventually, Auston Matthews got the equalizer for the Leafs. The center established inside position in front of Tuukka Rask as defenseman Jake Muzzin winded up a slap shot from the point, then Matthews reached out and tipped the puck out of the air as it glanced it off Grzelcyk and past Rask to tie the game 1-1.
Toronto generated four high-danger chances to just one for the Bruins in the period, but weren’t able to light the lamp more than once. They got a golden opportunity in the second with a late power play as the officials sent Patrice Bergeron to the box for slashing, but Rask made a pair of saves as the B’s were able to kill it off. The Bruins barely escaped with the game tied when the Leafs nearly bashed it through a pile as time expired.
The real highlight of the second, though, was Charlie McAvoy’s devastating hit on Andreas Johnsson.
What a hit from Charlie McAvoy. pic.twitter.com/VYLoG64sa6— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 16, 2019
Things swung back in the Bruins’ favor in a hurry to start the third. On his first rush of the period, Brad Marchand toe-dragged right around Morgan Rielly and his first shot fluttered off Andersen. But Rielly allowed Marchand to get a second chance and he chipped it over Andersen’s pad point-blank to make it 2-1 Bruins, his 12th goal of the season just 11 seconds in.
But it took only 3:45 for the Leafs to get even again. The Bruins got caught with four defenders watching John Tavares, who slid it over to a wide open Kasperi Kapanen and the winger finished his shot to tie the game 2-2.
And just 1:10 later, Marchand got it right back for the B’s. His second goal happened thanks to Coyle, who protected the puck well behind the goal and fed it to Marchand in the high slot. Marchand’s first shot deflected off Andersen’s glove, but like his first goal, he was able to whack the rebound from a tight angle to regain the lead for the Bruins. Zdeno Chara added an empty-netter to seal the game late.
After blowing a 4-0 third-period lead in a shootout loss to the Panthers on Tuesday, the Bruins controlled the closing 20 minutes this time. They generated 13 scoring chances in the period against just four for the Leafs, per Natural Stat Trick. Marchand is now up to 13 goals and 19 assists in 19 games this season, and now 591 points in 700 games over his career.
Up Next: The Bruins have a quick turnaround and a very tough matchup on Saturday, when they take their home ice against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. The B’s went 1-2 against the Caps in the 2018-19 season, but won their most recent matchup by a 1-0 score in February.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.