Recap: Bruins can’t stop Maple Leafs’ stars in 5-2 loss

Nov 6, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) moves in to score a goal on Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark (35) in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) moves in to score a goal on Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark (35) in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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For the Boston Bruins to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, they needed to contain Toronto’s star forwards.

That didn’t happen Saturday night.

In the first match between the two rivals in nearly two years, the Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 5-2 in Toronto. Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists, John Tavares had two goals and an assist and Auston Matthews had two goals in the win for Toronto.

Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak were the two goal scorers for Boston. Linus Ullmark stopped 31 of 35 shots faced.

1st period

The Bruins got on the board first thanks to the top power play unit. After three goals on the man advantage on Thursday, Hall tipped a shot from Patrice Bergeron past Jack Campbell for the 1-0 lead.

The power play seems to finally be finding its footing, which is an extremely good sign. There is no reason that PP1 unit shouldn’t click together and be a top-10 power play.

Before the end of the period, some bit of controversy came. Morgan Reilly feeds Marner in the slot and shoots the puck on net. But Tavares was getting pushed and knocked the net off before the shot from Marner came.

It’s tough luck, the refs I believe deemed that since Tavares was pushed and it’s a scoring chance, the whistle wasn’t blown, but not sure. Certainly a call that swung the Maple Leafs way, Tavares gets credit for the goal and game is tied 1-1.

Toronto nearly took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, but Bergeron – yes, Bergeron – had the save of the night.

What a play by the captain to keep the puck out. Highlight play and the game remains tied.

2nd period

To be honest, it was a rough game for the officials. Not sure how some things were getting called yet some weren’t.

One of those questionable calls was high-sticking against Matt Grzelcyk. And on the ensuing power play, it was Matthews putting in his own rebound off the rush to give Toronto the lead.

Not great defensive work. Marchand fails to pick up Matthews coming in and has a chance at his own rebound after deflecting the puck onto Ullmark. Also don’t love Forbort committing to the same side of the ice as Carlo after his pinch. Nonetheless, puck in the back of the net.

And then, somehow after Marchand and Timothy Liljegren get into it in front of the net, only Marchand gets called. Liljegren was literally in the penalty box and the officials yanked him out.

Absolutely no clue how you don’t give matching, but Toronto took advantage again on the power play.

An absolute rocket from Matthews to extend the lead. Backbreaking goal to let up that late in the second and off of an extremely questionable call. But 3-1 Leafs after two periods.

3rd period

Less than three minutes in and Tavares scores his second of the net on the doorstep.

I mean, Mike Reilly. Just because your stick is in his midsection doesn’t mean you’re covering him. Bad coverage in front, there is no excuse not to tie up Tavares there.

The Bruins weren’t done, as Pastrnak and Marchand connected on a really well-executed rush to cut the lead to two. Great patience from Marchand to find the opening Pastrnak for the one-timer.

However, that was it. Marner added an empty-netter and the Bruins drop to 5-4-0 with the 5-2 loss.

Notes

  • Alright, let’s hit some positives first. Another game where I thought Jake DeBrusk was one of the better Bruins. He even was rewarded late in the game skating with Pastrnak. He got stopped on a breakaway attempt and that was his only shot of the game, but not a bad game for 74
  • Ullmark wasn’t outstanding, but he wasn’t bad either. The first goal was weird, third one was a rocket from Matthews on the PP. Fourth one you can argue he needs to be better with the rebound control, but this was not on Ullmark
  • Two more assists for Marchand. Continues to produce early on
  • OK the defense continues to be an issue. Bad clear from Forbort leads to the second goal. Failed tie up from Reilly on the fourth. And many other ugly sequences. Cassidy will likely continue to try and find pairings that work, but starting to think it’s more of a personnel issue
  • Erik Haula and Craig Smith both had bad games and it’s becoming a nightly thing where these two can’t figure it out. Just nothing going for either offensively and playing majority of the time in the defensive end it seems. I don’t think it’s the injury for Smith because he struggled before sitting out
  • Even with a goal tonight, something is off with Pastrnak. Doesn’t seem to be in the same attack mode on offense. He led the team in shots with six, but there are times it feels he’s not shooting with a purpose. Bruins won’t go anywhere without him producing
  • Speaking of shots without a purpose, the Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs 23-9 over the final 20, but how many quality chances did they really have? Needed to make Campbell work more
  • OK, Jack Campbell is the real deal. 42 saves tonight and like I said, it wasn’t a grueling 42 shots, but still, a large workload. It’s a shame he’s so likable, that’s not how Toronto goaltenders are supposed to work
  • Yeah, the Maple Leafs’ stars are back. That slow start was simply that – a slow start. They are absolutely on fire as the four of Marner, Matthews, Tavares and William Nylander have the Leafs’ last 13 goals. A combined 22 points during the team’s five-game winning streak. They’re living up to their cost right now
  • The officiating was … uhh not great. That’s all I’ll say

Next up for Boston is a date with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. It’s getting to the point where the issues are always the same in losses. The defense needs to be better, the depth scoring needs to simply exist, the third line has a lot of work to do for this to get better.

Charlie McAvoy is rounding into form. dark. Next

We’ll see if the team can get back on track Tuesday, or if they will drop to .500.