Boston, MA - Despite outshooting the Toronto Maple Leafs 32-26, the Boston Bruins lost 4-1 on Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Garden in front of a crowd of 17,257. Brad Isbister scored the lone goal for the Bruins and Andrew Raycroft made 22 saves, but the Bruins couldn't hold on in the end and lost their fourth straight game. Boston played well for the first two periods, but Toronto had some bounces go their way and scored three goals in the third period to seal the victory. The B's record dropped to 7-8-5 on the season.
"We played two pretty good periods," net minder Andrew Raycroft said. "We're solid, we're right there and then scored a late one, which should give us some momentum, but then you give up three goals in the third period. You're not going to win any games by giving up three goals in the third period. It's just not going to happen."
Boston came out storming in the first period, outshooting the Maple Leafs 15-5, showing they were hungry after having three tough days of practice. Both goaltenders were up to the task though and the teams skated scoreless into the first intermission.
The B's carried their shooting barrage early into the second period, but Toronto opened the scoring mid-way through the period. Nik Antropov centered himself in front of the net, picked up a rebound and scored at 11:18 into the period for a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins regained the momentum with just 13 seconds left in the period on a power play goal from Brad Isbister that tied the game at 1-1. Jiri Slegr gathered the puck at the point and skated it to the corner. From there, he passed it to the front of the net where Isbister redirected it into the upper portion of the net for his third of the season. Brad Boyes was credited with the other assist.
At 8:08 into the third period, Toronto took back their lead on a goal by Eric Lindros to make it 2-1. Tie Domi made a pass through his legs from behind the net to Lindros who took the puck and slid it by Raycroft for his tenth of the year.
Exactly 2:00 minutes later, Tomas Kaberle shot the puck from the point where it deflected off of Mats Sundin and into the net, a power play goal and a 3-1 Toronto lead.
At 14:03, Toronto scored their fourth of the game, a power play goal by Darcy Tucker on a cross-crease pass. Tucker was camped out in front and took a quick pass from Lindros and banged it home, sealing the 4-1 win for Toronto.
"We took four penalties right off the bat against the team with the best power play in the league. It really makes it difficult to win," said Coach Mike Sullivan. "When you spend eight of the last ten in the penalty box, it's really tough to establish or continue the game plan that you're trying to play. We're going through a tough stretch here and we need to find a way to be successful in the critical moments in the game down the stretch."
Andrew Alberts played a solid, physical game against the Maple Leafs in the loss. Alberts laid numerous hits on the Toronto forwards that got the fans going and gave the team some additional momentum.
"As a rookie and being a big guy and playing a physical part, it's my job to make hits and out-work other guys on the team," said Alberts. "I need to go out and execute that every night."
Bruins Captain Joe Thornton said, "He's a big boy and he loves to play the body. He's so strong and plays physical; it's nice to see him play the way he is. (Alberts) is playing with a purpose and it's nice to watch."
"I thought our guys really competed hard, Andrew is one of those guys," Coach Sullivan said. "He wears his emotions right on his sleeve. These guys care and that's important because if you don't have that, it's difficult to be successful and I know these guys care."
The Bruins next play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00 p.m. (NESN).