The Boston Bruins will be hoping the Leafs are able to beat the rest of their opponents down the stretch, as they maintained their place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with an overtime win in Toronto tonight. The Leafs came out of the gates flying, outshooting the Bruins 14-5 in the first and carried a 1-0 lead into the second period. After an even 2nd that saw Miroslav Satan tie the game, the urgency of the Bruins’ current predicament was seen clearly, as Boston peppered Gustavsson with 16 shots in the final 23 minutes of play. After some solid play at both ends of the ice, Satan scored his 2nd goal of the game, tipping in Zdeno Chara’s blast from the point.
Ron Wilson is clearly using the Leafs’ remaining four games as a bit of a testing ground for next year. Mikhail Grabovski has been playing with Kulemin and Kessel, while Bozak (13 points in his last 13 games) skated with Christian Hanson and Viktor Stalberg on the “Frat Pack” line. Personally, I would have kept the Bozak-Kessel combination that has been so successful, but it’s still good to see how effective Bozak can be, regardless of linemates. Stalberg has played very well in the past few games, and tonight as well. He’s finally starting to look much more comfortable using his speed and size to his advantage, and he created a number of chances just from burning down the boards. Hanson has yet to score, but I feel like he’s been much more of a factor since he joined this line. The kids didn’t score tonight, but combined for 8 shots.
Colton Orr got on the stat sheet tonight, but it wasn’t with his fists, surprisingly. The big guy got his 4th goal of the year on a pretty good effort in the first, flipping the puck past Rask as he fell to one knee. Orr must have noticed Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton didn’t dress tonight.
Toronto’s final home game is Tuesday night against the Flyers.
1. Tuuka Rask – 27 saves
2. Miroslav Satan – 2 goals
3. Jonas Gustavsson – 28 saves