Bruins

Toffoli beats o.t. buzzer, giving Kings 2-1 victory over Bruins

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Toffoli beats o.t. buzzer, giving Kings 2-1 victory over Bruins

BOSTON -- Call it a walk-off winner, a buzzer-beater, whatever you want. Tyler Toffoli simply had one of the most improbable game-winning goals.

Toffoli scored off a faceoff - his second goal of the game - just before time expired in overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

With 0.9 seconds left and the puck dropped for a faceoff, Anze Kopitar won the draw back to Toffoli, who unloaded a shot that beat Tuukka Rask to the far post from the top of the right circle, stunning the Bruins and the TD Garden Crowd that seemed ready for a shootout.

"It was right in my wheelhouse and I got all of it," Toffoli said.

The clock had been reset by the referees from 0.4 to 0.9 before the faceoff after an icing by the Bruins. Los Angeles coach John Stevens called timeout and set up the play.

"We just took the timeout and Johnny said this is what we're doing," Toffoli said. "Kopi got it back clean and I got it off as fast as I could."

The Kings' celebration was delayed by a replay review, but they mobbed Toffoli after it counted.

Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the Kings, who are off to their best start in franchise history at 9-1-1.

"You wonder how it could happen?" Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Boy, it would be tough to see if you could do it again if you tried it a hundred times."

Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins and Rask, playing his first game after missing the previous three with a concussion sustained in practice, stopped 28 shots.

"It's something that happens once in a blue moon," Marchand said. "Tough way to lose."

Kopitar knew it was a memorable goal and incredible execution of the play.

"I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon," he said. "I've never seen it in my hockey career to work like that."

In the closing minute of regulation, the Kings kept the puck in Boston's end for a lengthy stretch before Rask made a splendid glove stop on Alex Iafallo's wrist shot from the slot.

In the overtime, Quick made three big saves. He came across the crease to rob Charlie McAvoy, dropped to spoil Anders Bjork's partial breakaway and robbed McAvoy again in the closing minute.

Rask also made a few stellar stops - the best came on a close chance by Toffoli.

The Bruins made it 1-0 at 5:27 of the opening period when Marchand skated hard to the net, reached out and redirected McAvoy's pass from the left boards.

Just under four minutes later, Toffoli tied it for the Kings when he stole Torey Krug's backhanded clearing attempt, cut to the net and slipped a shot behind Rask.

Like most of the game, both teams tightened even more defensively in the second, limiting the scoring chances.

Rask had to make a couple of nice stops. The first came when he dropped to make a pad save on Andy Andreoff's bid from the edge of the crease.

With just under four minutes to play, Rask stopped Jake Muzzin's blast from the point and controlled Adrian Kempe's rebound bid despite losing his stick in a scramble.

The Bruins seemed determined to shoot high against Quick when they had chances, firing rising wrist shots.

Despite being held to very few chances in the second and only five shots on goal, Boston defenseman Paul Postma's shot appeared to graze the top of the cross bar late in the period.

NOTES: The Kings started 9-1-1 one other season - in 1980-81 with a loss and tie. ... Rask played his 400th career NHL game. ... Boston F Riley Nash was checked into the glass between the benches by Kempe and his face shield smacked into his face late in the opening period. He left the ice with a towel to his face, but returned in the second. ... Kings D Drew Doughty's next game will the 700th of his NHL career. ... Bruins C David Krejci missed his third straight with an undisclosed upper body injury.

UP NEXT

Kings: Play the finale of a six-game road trip Monday at St. Louis.

Bruins: At Columbus on Monday before three straight at home.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

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Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins all kinds of energy out of the starting gate, and made a couple of plays that allowed his team to hold a lead despite getting outplayed in the opening 20 minutes. DeBrusk went hard to the net splitting a couple of San Jose defenders on the first goal, and fired a shot on net that created a rebound for Peter Cehlarik to cash in on. Then DeBrusk scored a little bit later on a rush where he beat Brent Burns in a foot race to a loose puck, then whistled a wrist shot past Aaron Dell for his fourth goal of the season. DeBrusk finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 and a team-high four shots on net while falling just short of 16 minutes of ice time in the victory. It was a strong effort from DeBrusk shortly after being a healthy scratch, and showed what he’s capable of when he gets his skating legs going.

BLACK EYE: Brent Burns was a complete mess for the Sharks. He was burnt by Jake DeBrusk in each of the first two Bruins goals in the first period with the B’s rookie going right at him with the attack. He also didn’t make it to the net with 12 of the 16 shots that he attempted and Burns finished with seven giveaways as well. It’s been a rough follow-up season for Burns after last year’s Norris Trophy season where he’s tried to do too much for the Sharks, and his game has suffered as a result. That seemed to be the case for Burns against the Bruins as well where his mistakes played a big role in the Sharks dropping the game.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins won the game when they managed to survive an opening 20 minutes where they were outshot 17-5, and even better they had a 2-1 lead based on some offensive fireworks from Jake DeBrusk. They were also aided by a couple of video reviews where the Bruins took a San Jose goal off the board when it was ruled that a crashing Joonas Donskoi punched a puck into the net with his glove. The Peter Cehlarik goal was also upheld at the other end after a challenge from the San Jose bench. It looked like DeBrusk was tripped before he partially crashed into Aaron Dell that set up the Cehlarik goal, and that’s clearly how the referees saw it after reviewing the play.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Anton Khudobin, who stopped 36-of-37 shots and improved to 5-0-2 on the season with another strong win aided by a stalwart defensive effort in front of him. Khudobin now has 12 of the 20 points that the Bruins have amassed on the season, and he absolutely rewarded the B’s for opting to go with the Bruins backup for a second game in a row as they ride the hot goaltender. Khudobin was helped by a number of Bruins blocked shots in the third period when the game was still very tight, but it was also about Khudobin coming up with 16 saves in the first period when the Bruins were getting outplayed by the Sharks.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of Bruins rookies that have scored their first NHL goals this season, including Peter Cehlarik finally getting his first NHL score Saturday night in his 14th career game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We need them. They’re in the lineup and they’re playing significant minutes. We need them to produce for us. Tonight we needed some offense early, and they provided it for us.” – Bruce Cassidy, on the role of the rookies in the win where it was all first-year players Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen doing the scoring vs. San Jose. 

Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1

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Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Anton Khudobin enjoyed getting pestered with shots early. He didn't have time to let his mind wander.

Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

"I like it busy," Khudobin said. "I don't have to think about anything else. The third-period start was unbelievable . . . I don't think I faced a shot until halfway through the period."

Peter CehlarikJake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen scored to help the Bruins get their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-3-1). Boston had totaled nine goals in its previous five games, scoring more than two for just the second time in nine November games.

"It went our way," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "They were clearly better than us but we come out 2-1 (in the three games on West Coast). If you stick with it, good things happen."

Khudobin remained unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) and improved to 4-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average in five games against the Sharks.

Timo Meier scored and Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves for the Sharks, one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. San Jose has been held to two of fewer goals in five of their seven games this month.

"Guys in this room can score; we just have to do it," Sharks Logan Couture said. "I thought we had good chances and a lot of them at the end. We've got to create offense. If you don't score goals, you're not going to win."

Meier gave the Sharks, losers of two straight following wins in six of seven, a short-lived 1-0 lead after tapping in a rebound 4:50 into the game. Daniel O'Regan, making his season debut, won the puck behind the net and skated around to take the shot that bounced to Meier. It was O'Regan's first career assist and second career point.

"I just kind of fished it out and wanted to bring it to the net," O'Regan said. "Timo made a nice finish."

Cehlarik, in his 14th game, scored his first career goal about 1 1/2 minutes later to tie it for the Bruins.

Boston took the lead on DeBrusk's goal with 9:14 left in the first. Charlie McAvoy cleared a puck in his zone that DeBrusk, one of three rookies who scored, chased down and easily beat Dell 1-on-1.

"It's massive," DeBrusk said. "We all want it so bad and we all work so hard. These are big games for us."

Heinen made it 3-1 with 5:51 left in the third. Kevan Miller skated down the ice, drawing all the attention on the right side. He passed across the crease, from where Heinen tapped it in.

"He made a heck of a play," Heinen said. "I just put my stick on the ice."

The Sharks had a goal negated for the second straight game, this one two minutes in.

"We got enough looks tonight to score," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're doing more good than bad we're just not being rewarded."

NOTES: O'Regan was recalled before the game. He's the leading scorer for the Barracuda of the AHL. ... The Sharks have had three consecutive goals reversed after challenges dating to Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers. ... Sharks F Joel Ward has recorded points in six of his last eight games. ... DeBrusk, who assisted on Cehlarik's goal, recorded his first multi-point game since Oct. 14, a span of 14 games.

UP NEXT

Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Sharks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE