November 9, 2013

Bergeron's two goals lead Bruins past Maple Leafs

By Jesse Connolly

Loui Eriksson picked up an assist on Patrice Bergeron's empty-net goal Saturday. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 3, Toronto 1

Recap: In a dominant period that saw them outshoot the Leafs 14-7 and absolutely control play territorially, the Bruins opened the scoring on a power play with 4:33 remaining in the opening frame. Torey Krug hit Jarome Iginla, whose initial bid was denied but Zdeno Chara came in and banged home a shot to make it 1-0.

The Bruins hit a wall midway through the second period, allowing Toronto to have consecutive shifts in which the B's were pinned in their own zone. Karma finally caught up to the Black and Gold, as Joffrey Lupul -- who had one point in his last five games coming in -- roofed a shot over Rask's blocker to make it 1-1. 

Boston rebounded early in the third when Patrice Bergeron buried the team's second power-play goal of the night. No. 37 closed out the scoring with an empty-netter with 22 ticks left in regulation.

Records: Boston 10-5-1, 21 points; Toronto 11-6-0, 22 points

Key Play of the Game: Bergeron buried the game-winner, but it was Carl Soderberg who made it happen. During that one shift on the power play, he set up two defensemen at the point, got the puck back, put a shot on James Reimer and was able to reel in the rebound and throw it back in front for Bergeron to fire home.

Connolly's Commendations: After going untested for most of the first period, Rask was under fire in the middle frame. No. 40 stopped 17-of-18 shots sent his way, preventing the surging Leafs from ever taking a lead in this one.

Bergeron really needed a night like this. The B's center had gone four straight games without a point. Facing Toronto -- who he scored the final two goals against in Boston's unforgettable, Game 7 victory at TD Garden in the first round of last year's playoffs -- was apparently just what the doctor ordered.

Really impressive game for Dougie Hamilton, who looked poised, sharp and got highly involved at both ends of the rink tonight. The second-year pro had four shots, three hits and helped Boston keep the Leafs' strong power play off the board in three attempts.

Connollys Critiques: Not a great night for the fourth line as a whole (zero shots), but Greg Campbell stands out with no hits and two wins on seven faceoffs (29%) to boot.

Notes: Up until Bergeron's goal early in the third, all of Boston's power-play tallies had come from defensemen. ... Adam McQuaid suffered what appeared to be a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. Shortly before that, the d-man fought Frazer McLaren.

Final Thoughts: The B's were lucky the second period didn't go far worse on the scoreboard, as Rask kept the Leafs at bay. But otherwise, the B's were definitely the better team in the opening period and the closing one and took care of business against a banged-up Toronto team that was playing for the second time in as many nights.

Next: The B's will be back in action Monday when they host the Lightning in a 1 o'clock matinee at TD Garden.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ