The Bruins thumped the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight 4-1 playing they're most complete game of the season. If you read my pre-game article you would see that I predicted that Doug Hamilton might have a big game and he did with a goal and two assists and was a +2 for the night. The Bruins also scored on the power play, got a short handed goal and killed off three penalties. Tuukka Rask played his best game of the year also and saved 32 of 33 shots against him, 18 of them in the third period.
Prior to the start of the first period there was a moving tribute to Canada's fallen soldier that died last Wednesday when Parliament was attacked by a terrorist. The tribute was in Ottawa, Canada's capital and played out in the Scotia Bank Arena prior to the New Jersey and Ottawa game and was broadcast live in the Bell Center in Montreal and the Air Canada Center in Toronto. Once the game got started at about 7:20PM, the Bruins laid siege to the Leafs defensive zone. Finally on the Bruins first power play, Carl Soderbergh broke through after a huge save down the other end of the rink by Tuukka Rask. It started with a feed to Doug Hamilton from Loui Ericsson. He attempted a shot and half speeded it on a partial miss. It floated into Patrice Bergeron who flailed at it and ended up on the stick of Soderberg who punched it in of the backhand off Jonathon Berniers glove side. The first period ended 1-0 Bruins, but they held a decisive territorial advantage throughout the period. The Bruins outshot the Leafs 11-9.
The second period started with more of the same. The Bruins outshot the leafs 12-6 and keep the puck in the Toronto zone for long stretches. During some of these stretches, the Bruins were able to rotate line changes that were keeping the Leafs pinned in there own end. At about the 16 minute mark, David Krejci broke in on the lift side boards and got a step on the back checking Phil Kessel and drove the net. Bernier made a left pad save but the rebound went right back on Krejci's stick and he tucked in the puck on the glove side past the fallen Bernier. After that goal, the Air Canada Center started to fill with catcalls and boos from the unhappy Toronto fans. At the end of two periods the Bruins were up 2-0.
In the third period the Leafs came out with lots of aggression and bumped the Bruins around a bit. Adam McQuaid took a holding penalty in the corner to the right of Rask on Kessel who appeared to get away with a bit of a dive. The Leafs had good movement on the power play and had three shots get through to Rask who was very sharp. At about the 2:20 mark of the period as the penalty was winding down, Dan Paille and Greg Campbell chased down the puck in the Toronto zone and Paille came away with the puck to the right of Bernier. Dion Phaneuf didn't keep contact with Campbell as he went to the front of the net and he was open all alone for an easy snap shot past Bernier's glove side. A minute and forty seconds later Hamilton poked the puck away and rushed into the Leaf zone past both leaf defenders to fire a wicked wrist shot in the top corner Bernier's, ( yes you guessed it), glove side. I believe Randy Carlyle, the Leaf Coach, had seen enough at this point and the boos were loud. He pulled Bernier and Jim Reimer came into the game. The Leafs seemed to rally and find their legs as the laid on a fairly good surge the rest of the period that the Bruins for the most part managed. Richard Panik scored a meaningless goal with about five minutes left in the game to ruin Rask's shutout bid. That was the extent of the Leafs positive over the course of the game.
I give Doug Hamilton the number one star of the game and Tuukka Rask the two star for stellar goaltending. My number three star was Dennis Seidenberg as he led all Bruins with 25:59 in ice time and played his best defensive game of the season. Next up the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Until Next time!