|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Toronto came into the night riding a three game winning streak and had a one point lead over the Bruins, but Boston was too much for the Leafs and came away with a 6-3 win.
Boston had control of the puck for most of the early portion of the first period until Rich Pervely went to the box (high stick). The Leafs took advantage of that with a goal from Mikhail Grabovski at 7:29 in the first period.
Tyler Seguin took a high sticking penalty with about six minutes left in the first but Toronto gave it right back and then some with back to back penalties giving Boston a two-man advantage. Milan Lucic scored at 15:08 on a nice pass from Tyler Seguin on the two-man advantage. Both Toronto and Boston had good movement and several scoring chances on power plays in the first. The Leafs nearly answered after the Lucic goal when Phil Kessel took off on a break away, Thomas handled it no problem.
David Krejci gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 3:33 in the second period. Nathan Horton made a nice rush up ice on the outside with a ton of speed and Krejci tapped home the rebound in traffic. Dion Phaneuf rang a post soon after the Bruins took the lead as Toronto took it to the Bruins at the end of a shift. Joffery Lupel tied it up again at 7:00, Phil Kessel set him up with a nice pass on a two on one.
Zdeno Chara broke the second tie with a wrist shot from the circle on a semi rush. The goal was set up by great work from the Krejci line, Horton again using his speed created the chance. Once again Toronto answered with strong play but Tim Thomas held up again. Boston entered the third period with a one goal lead and a 10-0-0 record when leading after two periods.
Boston went on an early power play in the third that produced no goal again. Benoit Pouliot scored in the vulnerable minute after the power play, Joe Corvo hit him with a nice pass from behind the net and Pouliot put one under the cross-bar. Matt Frattin beat Tim Thomas from a bad angle after another good answering shift after the Bruins score.
Toronto went on full attack for the final half of the third but Boston played smart and just cleared the zone and got pucks in deep. David Krejci handled the puck behind Toronto’s net for a few seconds then moved out and found Lucic out front for his second goal of the game. Boston had a 5-3 lead with roughly four and a half minutes to play, Toronto pulled the goalie with two minutes left in the game. Brad Marchand added an empty net goal with fifty seconds left in the game to seal the deal.
Boston finishes the month of November with zero regulation losses. The Bruins now sit in first place in the division and will look to expand on that lead Saturday as they face off with the Leafs in Boston.
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton: A+, totaling seven points on the night, maybe the best game of the season for the top line.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin: B-/C+, totaling only two points, got chances but we have seen what this line can do and it wasnt on display tonight.
Rich Peverly-Chris Kelly-Beniot Pouliot: B, totaling two points, had a strong game with chances and puck possession all night.
Shawn Thornton-Greg Campbell-Dan Paille: B-, totaling only one point, brought energy and got the job done just like every other game.
Tim Thomas: 34 saves, .919 save percentage
Jonas Gustavsson: 34 saves, .872 save percentage