The Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs were back at it in Game Two of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Saturday night. The Leafs were certainly looking to try and split the wins while in Boston to go back to Toronto tied at one game apiece, but that wasn’t how things wound up.
Toronto certainly came out with jump from the first puck drop. And they were doing a great job of keeping the Bruins from getting a shot on Frederik Andersen throughout the first five minutes. David Pastrnak showed some patience waiting for Andersen to bite and then backhanded the puck into the net to give the Bruins the first goal of the game at 5:26 with their first shot on net.
One of the issues that the Leafs had said they needed to address for the second game was staying disciplined and out of the penalty box, so it must have been even more frustrating when their first penalty of the game came at 8:24 of the first period for a bench minor—too many men on the ice. And just as they had on Thursday, the Bruins made them pay. Jake DeBrusk got his first goal of the postseason with 38 seconds remaining on the man advantage; his tip in the result of his placement in front of Andersen. The Bruins were up 2-0 while Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron each had two assists.
The pucks just kept finding the back of the Leafs’ net. Kevan Miller would be the next player to notch his first postseason goal at 12:13, assisted by Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. And with that one, Andersen would spend the rest of the game watching from the sidelines as Curtis McElhinney was brought in to replace him.
Once again, a hit on Mitch Marner—this time by Tim Schaller—resulted in retribution as Ron Hainsey dropped the gloves with Schaller. While both Hainsey and Schaller would be escorted to their respective sin bins, Hainsey would put his team down a man by earning a double minor for roughing. Eleven seconds into the power play, Rick Nash would get his first goal of the playoffs giving the Bruins their fourth of the game and the period, assisted by Pastrnak and Krug.
By the time the first period was over the Bruins had four goals and had kept the Leafs off the scoreboard. Pastrnak already had a goal and two assists. Krug had three assists and Bergeron had two.
Marner would get the Leafs their first goal 1:22 into the second period, putting his wrist shot through the wide open back door on Tuukka Rask. It was clear the Leafs weren’t going to give up despite being in a four-goal hole at the top of the middle frame. A little more than two minutes later, David Krejci restored the four-goal lead for the Bruins with a tip-in assisted by Pastrnak and Marchand. Tyler Bozak’s wrist shot at almost the halfway mark of the game would again get Toronto within three goals of tying things up. And as the buzzer signaled the end of the second the Leafs were outshooting the Bruins and had improved their penalty kill as they kept the Bruins from increasing their lead during the two penalties Toronto took in that period.
With less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, and despite Toronto’s barrage of shots on Rask, Pastrnak would get his second of the game, once again assisted by his linemates Bergeron and Marchand. James van Riemsdyk would capitalize 33 seconds into Krejci’s tripping penalty, as the Leafs continued to dominate on the chances in the third. Pastrnak wasn’t finished though, getting his third goal with 1:32 left on the clock. The hat trick signaled the throwing of the black and gold hats and while the ice crew collected all the hats, tabulations were being calculated for the impressive and unstoppable first line for the Bruins. Pastrnak’s third goal had again been assisted by Marchand and Bergeron.
Once again, the Bruins got the win, leading the series 2-0 as the teams will travel to Toronto for Game Three on Monday. For Pastrnak, Saturday was a six-point night (3 goals, 3 assists). Bergeron had four assists and so did Marchand. That one line for the Bruins combined for 14 points on the night and a two-game total of 20 points.
There are certainly some things the Bruins need to work on going into Game Three—especially in regard to their gap control and the amount of zone time they allowed the Leafs as the second period continued and throughout most of the third. The Leafs will draw energy from their home crowd, and the Bruins will need to temper that energy by removing the fans from the game.