Heading into Tuesday night’s action, the Boston Bruins had dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs recently, winning 11 of their last 12 regular-season meetings. The Bruins had momentum after snapping a two-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, and the Maple Leafs also came in hot after a shootout win over the New Jersey Devils that ended a four-game losing streak. As expected, Tuesday’s game featured a lot of scoring, plenty of physical play and some superb goaltending. The Maple Leafs got two early goals from Tyler Bozak, and managed to hang onto the lead for a much-needed win.
While Bozak was the star performer on the offensive night, a tip of the hat is owed to Toronto netminder Jonathan Bernier, who made 38 saves to record his 15th win of the season. He made 36 saves against the Devils on Sunday, and he continues to be a better option in goal than James Reimer. The Maple Leafs came into Tuesday’s game with the league’s fifth-ranked power play, and they showed why that has been one of their strengths this season as they beat Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask twice with the man-advantage. Bozak’s second goal (his ninth of the season) came on the power play, and Jake Gardiner put his team ahead 3-2 in the second period with a power play tally of his own.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs won’t meet again until April 3rd in Toronto, a game that could have major playoff implications for both teams. The Bruins may still hold a big edge in recent history, but the Maple Leafs have shown they do have what it takes to get past Boston if Bernier is playing strong and their power play is clicking.