Bruins shred Leafs in 6-2 win
Thursday, 10.20.2011 / 9:50 PM
Matt Kalman - NHL.com CorrespondentBOSTON
-- After he juggled his forward lines for Wednesday's practice, Boston Bruins
coach Claude Julien was asked about his reasoning behind the maneuvers.
Julien explained he didn't know what he would get from the new combinations but that his old ones weren't giving him enough.
For one night at least, his offense provided plenty to work with. The Bruins got goals from six different players as they handed the Toronto Maple Leafs
their first regulation defeat of the season with a 6-2 win at TD Garden.
The Leafs dropped to 4-1-1, while the Bruins improved to 3-4-0.
, who scored one of the Bruins' goals and added two assists, enjoyed playing with new linemates Milan Lucic
and Chris Kelly
. He thought everyone benefited from the reconfigured top three lines.
"I think it was definitely a good thing because no one really had too much chemistry," the second-year center said. "When all the lines are mixed up, you kind of just focus on playing your best. And with that tonight everyone kind of just focused on your game and what they have to do in taking accountability and I think that's why we were successful. Not thinking about the chemistry and just ‘I need to do my role' and things will work out and that's what happened tonight."
Coming off a disappointing 4-1 home loss to Carolina on Tuesday in which they accumulated 72 penalty minutes, the Bruins were determined to get back to playing hockey in order to make sure their early season dip in the standings didn't last long.
They showed their urgency by bouncing back from allowing Toronto to get the game's first goal by scoring three times in the first period. The Bruins, who entered the game as the league's lowest-scoring team, had scored more than two goals in a game just once in their first six games.
"Obviously you want to get out of that hump I guess, as quick as possible so obviously there's always urgency when things are going like that," said Patrice Bergeron
, who centered Brad Marchand
and Nathan Horton
for the first time and scored a goal on one of his game-high nine shots on net.
"You want to get out of it [the slump], and we're proud guys and we want to be on top every night obviously. So right now I think it is a good effort, but we've seen it too often in the past six games, that you have to be consistent and we need to have a good effort on Saturday as well."
The Bruins also put together a solid defensive effort by keeping NHL leading scorer Phil Kessel
of the scoresheet. The former Bruin entered the game with 12 points in five contests but managed just one shot on net.
"We know that he's having a hell of a year so far, he is on top of the League and he is playing extremely well," Boston captain Zdeno Chara
said. "We were just trying to obviously play really tight and take away as much time and space for him.
The Leaf, who played their first road game of the season after a 4-3 shootout win against Winnipeg in Toronto on Wednesday, got on the board first 7:29 in on a goal by Dave Steckel. However, their inability to shot down the Bruins' slumping power play came back to bite them. Boston, which had been 2-for-24 on the power play, went up 2-1 on extra-man goals by Nathan Horton
and Chara at 10:32 and 16:05. Chris Kelly
added an even-strength goal before the period was through against Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson
, who finished with 37 saves on 43 shots in his regular-season debut.
"The first 10 minutes we were OK and then when they scored the first goal we kind of ... the air went out of the balloon," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We didn't really give ‘The Monster' [Gustavsson] much protection in front. We just didn't have our legs. It was plain and simple."
The Leafs' best chance to get back into the game came midway through the second period, when Mikhail Grabovski
got behind the Bruins' defense during a power play. However, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
(26 saves) made a diving glove stop to keep the Bruins up by two goals.
"It was 4-on-3, then 4-on-4, then 5-on-4, and I lost track of how many people were coming out of the box, so I didn't bang my stick to give my D any warning," Thomas said. "I kind of helped cause the breakaway, so I had extra motivation to stop that breakaway. I just really wanted to stop that one because I had kind of made a mistake beforehand."
At 2:08 if the third period, Lucic tapped in a feed on a 2-on-1 with Seguin. Bergeron and Seguin rounded out the Bruins' scoring, while Grabovski added a late goal for Toronto.
The Leafs have three more games left on their first trip of the season.
"I think we had a few too many turnovers tonight, and weren't tough enough in our own end, and the score showed because of it," defenseman Luke Schenn
said. "Like I said we'll learn from it and, you know, we're not going to dwell on this one too much. Obviously it would have been nice to beat the defending Stanley Cup champs, and you know, come in and start the road trip right, but we're not going to dwell on it."