After their only losing streak so far this season, with three consecutive losses to the Lightening, Panthers, and Hurricanes, the Bruins have made their way back into the win column with a commanding 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. With two disappointing losses in Florida, one of which in heartbreaking fashion in overtime against the Panthers, the Bruins found themselves in a bit of a rut that they have not been accustomed to this season. With Boston not losing more than one game consecutively yet this season, the two losses on their Florida trip seemed to compile into a season-low performance against the Hurricanes, where they were defeated 4-1.
One thing that was clear for Boston as they went into their fifth straight road game in Toronto was that they needed to recapture the fire they’ve had all season. The Bruins certainly looked more like themselves as they came out playing fast and aggressive hockey against the Leafs. In the first period, both teams appeared to be evenly matched, as they were both lurking in the offensive zone, but to no success, with the first period ending in a 0-0 stalemate.
Things started to pick up in the second period as Derek Forbort got a shorthanded goal for Boston 6:57 into the period with help from Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. The Forbort goal would be the first shorthanded goal the Bruins have had in 23 games. Toronto would be quick to answer with a goal of their own two minutes later, tying the game 1-1.
As the period went on, the Bruins would struggle to make plays out of their defensive zone, which has been a theme in their losing streak. Eventually Boston was able to make the plays they’ve been accustomed to making all season, with them responding to Toronto’s score less than three minutes later with a goal from Brandon Carlo with a beanbag assist from Hampus Lindholm, giving them the upper hand.
The third period would prove to be an eventful one, with A.J. Greer scoring two minutes into the period, Jakub Lauko would get the assist. Toronto would answer Boston’s call once again, scoring six minutes later, making it a 3-2 game. Eventually Boston would regain their two goal lead, which would swell into a three goal lead, with two goals from Pavel Zacha, one of which being an impressive long-range wrist shot. Credit for the assists on the goals would go to Krejci and Pastrnak, who in 51 games has not been shut out for more than one game in points. Pastrnak has proved to be one of the Bruins' most consistent players this season.
The Bruins would go on to win 5-2, snapping their losing streak at a great time, heading into the All-Star break. In the win, Boston seemed to plug the holes that had been sinking their ship in their recent losses, such as finally winning the third period, closing out strong, and playing their usual strong defense.
In the NHL, It can be easy look past the fact that the losing streak took place while the team played three games in four nights. That amount of constant competition against tough teams can be undeniably challenging, even for a team that has had so much success this season. Boston will not have their next game until February 11th against the Capitals, who currently sit at fourth in their division.
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