The Maple Leafs returned home to the Air Canada Centre tonight to face off against Original Six rival Boston Bruins. Toronto was looking to record its second consecutive win for the first time since December 14th, while Boston was coming off a disastrous 7-6 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres that same night.
Both teams traded chances in the first period with quality goaltending from both teams shutting the door through the first half of the opening frame. Leafs’ goalie James Reimer made a superb sliding save on Bruins forward Michael Ryder early in the first to keep the game scoreless.
Mikhail Grabovski opened the scoring at 14:08 of the first period after Luke Schenn fired a backhand past over the Bruins defence to spring the streaking Grabovski on a breakaway. He made no mistake by fooling Tuukka Rask on a nice move, before sliding the puck through his legs.
Early in the second, Nathan Horton tied the game at 7:56 after receiving a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and snapping a wrist shot from the slot over the shoulder of a screened Reimer for his 12th goal of the year
Toronto outshot Boston 11-7 through the first period, but the Bruins dominated the Leafs in the second with a 17-8 advantage.
Marc Savard was accessed with a roughing penalty at 10:35 of the second period, which Boston managed to kill off. Savard returned the next shift and one-timed his second goal of the season from the point, with assists from Horton and Milan Lucic.
Reimer was solid in defeat, stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced, although Rask had the slight edge in net with 36 saves as the former first round pick of the Leafs continued his dominance against Toronto.
Despite the loss, the Leafs defence put in a solid effort as they blocked 28 shots on the night.
Toronto falls to 14-20-4 after tonight’s loss and still sit in 13th place with 32 points in 38 games.The Leafs continue their homestand on Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues, in their first matchup of the season.