Playoff hungry Bruins edge Leafs in shootout

Leafs scorers: van Riemsdyk (26)
Bruins scorers: Bergeron (22)
Goalies: Rask (Win) 65:00 minutes played, 27 saves, 1 GA, Reimer (Loss), 65:00 minutes played, 49 saves, 1 GA

After an emotional loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs headed to Boston to take on the Bruins on Saturday evening. With the regular season nearing its close and the Bruins hungry for a playoff berth, tensions were sure to run high as the two teams prepared to face off.

With the first period underway, the teams traded chances but neither could swing the momentum in their favour. Each side had just one chance on the man advantage, but couldn’t capitalize. Although the first period remained scoreless, the Bruins finally found their scoring touch to start the second and it took Patrice Bergeron just 19 seconds to give his team the 1-0 lead.

But the Leafs weren’t ready to bow out of the game yet and James van Riemsdyk evened out the scoring with just minutes remaining in the second. The third period remained wide open for either team to skate away with two points, but both teams struggled yet again to find the back of the net and the game eventually needed over time to determine a winner.

It was clear that fatigue was setting in for both sides as they couldn’t generate any decent scoring chances during the extra period, leading to a shootout. Tyler Bozak was up first for the Maple Leafs, but he couldn’t put the puck past Tuukka Rask. David Krejci was up next for the Bruins but James Reimer, who had a solid game all night, had no problem stopping his shot.

Peter Horachek had chosen James van Riemsdyk as his next shooter in hopes he could recreate his offensive touch from the second period, but he’d also fail on his attempt. Patrice Bergeron tried to score again and was able to sneak the puck past Reimer just in time, giving his team the lead in the shootout.

Rask managed to foil Nazem Kadri, securing a 2-1 shoot-out victory for his team.

Despite the disappointing season the Leafs have had, Peter Horachek spoke to the media after the game about how he wants his team to still play with a strong effort in their last few remaining games. “There’s been a number of games where we want that effort and that attitude, we want that push and that consistency. Consistency in the game is important, guys might feel like, ‘well, maybe I don’t feel my best tonight’ but you’ve got to find a way to be effective. Tonight, the guys certainly tried to put an effort out there.”

The Leafs will head home to the ACC for a game against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening.