Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with forward David Pastrnak (88) after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night in Toronto did not feature some of the Bruins’ best moments, I must confess.

For as strong and entertaining a game the Bruins and Maple Leafs put forth, the Bruins did blow a 2-0 lead, and they also surrendered yet another goal in a 6-on-5 situation. And when William Nylander broke through for an overtime breakaway, you had a feeling this was going to be another example of the Bruins simply pissing away another point.

But in what was a downright electric showdown, it was the Bruins who flipped the script, this time with a last-second overtime goal courtesy of Bruins captain Brad Marchand.

  • So while this game had a feeling of the Bruins snatching victory from the jaws of defeat after doing the opposite just moments prior, all’s well that ends well in Toronto, and especially with the Leafs in their comfort zone of the three-on-three overtime where their skill players are free to take over.

    But the most important note from this contest: Saturday night in Toronto marked the first time that the 2023-24 Bruins had won a game in which they allowed at least three goals.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a win in Toronto…

  • No. 3 Star: Brad Marchand

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) prepares for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) prepares for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Boston winger Brad Marchand is no stranger to the villain role. And he was indeed the villain entering this contest, with the Maple Leafs still furious about what they believed to be a cheap slewfoot that took defenseman Timothy Liljegren out of action in their last head-to-head. (Liljegren still has not returned to the lineup.)

    And though the boos rained down on Marchand throughout the evening, and while the Leafs didn’t do anything to make Marchand’s night hell, Marchand finished the night as the Black and Gold’s hero, with the overtime tally that helped the B’s escape with two points in their pocket.

    Marchand’s game-winning goal came on his eighth and final shot of the evening, while Marchand also added three hits in just under 22 minutes of time on ice.

  • No. 2 Star: Linus Ullmark

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) brings the puck in front of Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark (35) in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) brings the puck in front of Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark (35) in the third period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

  • The Bruins may have let a two-goal lead slip, and saw yet another last-second goal go into their net, but there was no doubt that Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark did his job.

    Tagged for 40 shots for the second time in a week, Ullmark finished his night with 37 stops for the victory, and was absolute nails in the overtime frame when the Bruins needed him to be.

    And of his 37 saves by the night’s end, 12 were of the high-danger variety, with the 6-foot-5 Ullmark posting a 12-for-14 line on that front, according to NaturalStatTrick dot com.

  • No. 1 Star: David Pastrnak

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with team mates at the bench after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 2, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with team mates at the bench after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

  • There’s just something about torturing the Maple Leafs that really speaks to David Pastrnak.

    Skating in his 26th career regular-season game against the Maple Leafs, Pastrnak opened the scoring up for Boston with his 18th career goal against Toronto, and added two assists by the night’s end, bringing him up to 32 points in 26 career head-to-heads with the Leafs in his career.

    His first goal was downright sick, too, as Pastrnak stunned the Leafs’ Joseph Woll with a top-shelf snipe from about 60 feet out. That’s a goal that nobody else on the Bruins could pull off in that moment.

    Overall, Pastrnak is up to 14 goals and 36 points through 23 games this season.

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