GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand finished with a Player of the Game trophy that he took a lap around the ice showing the Maple Leafs fans. It was a well-deserved honor from Lanny McDonald as part of the Hall of Fame game.
Marchand finished with a pair of goals in the third period to power the Bruins to victory and was dominant overall with seven shots on net and nine shot attempts in 18:18 of ice time. Both goals were good, strong and hard plays from Marchand where he fired an initial shot at the net and then followed his shot before popping the loose puck past Freddie Andersen. It continues a longstanding string of dominance for the Bruins' top line against the Maple Leafs, and that played out true to form again on Friday. It was also key to snapping Boston’s four-game losing streak.
BLACK EYE: Jason Spezza continues to struggle for the Maple Leafs. He missed an open net in the first period that could have pushed the Leafs out to an early lead. Instead, he missed wide and seconds later that turned into the first goal of the game for Charlie Coyle.
Spezza finished a minus-2 in 12:02 of ice time with a couple of shots on net, but doesn’t really bring much to the team if he can’t bury the offensive chances when they present themselves as they did early for the veteran. When you’re talking about a player that’s got one goal in 10 games and has been a minus player this season, that all spells trouble for him to continue garnering playing time for Toronto.
TURNING POINT: After a dreadful third period against Florida earlier this week, the Bruins turned it all around and had themselves a strong 20 minutes to close out Friday night after a “meh” second period.
The B’s outshot the Leafs 15-7 in that final period and Brad Marchand scored a pair of goals to push Boston ahead before Zdeno Chara cinched it in the final couple of minutes with an empty net goal. It was almost a 180 degree turn from the four goals that the B’s coughed up just a couple of days ago against the Panthers, and it perhaps showed that the Bruins are getting their mojo back after their game got out of focus for a couple of days.
HONORABLE MENTION: Zdeno Chara earned his empty net goal at the very end of the game with the way he defended throughout along with partner Charlie McAvoy. Chara finished with five blocked shots in a team-high 24:04 of ice time and did an excellent job of keeping things from getting too chaotic in the defensive zone while Toronto’s top line clearly had some pretty good jump.
Chara finished with three shot attempts, two hits and the five blocked shots and was one of Boston’s best players in a game where the B’s needed to get back to defensive basics. Chara and McAvoy blocked an amazing 12 combined shots in the victory, which shows just how hard Boston had to work for the two points.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the number of combined blocked shots for Charlie McAvoy (seven) and Zdeno Chara (five) as the two top D-men certainly paid the physical price to help earn the win for the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a good win to come in here and beat that team. Definitely a good game for us." –Brad Marchand on snapping the four game losing streak with the 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs.
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