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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bruins Return Home For 1 Night Only, Poop The Bed vs. Maple Leafs In a 4-3 Loss

The Bruins (29-15-2) had been gone for over a week for a 1-2 road trip in California and they came home to face the reeling Maple Leafs (23-20-5) at TD Garden. Naturally, Toronto rallied from two early deficits to win 4-3. Boston had beaten them 3-1 and 5-2 earlier this season with the finale set for April 3 in Toronto.

Every writer will mention it so let me be the millionth to talk about how crappy Boston's special teams were. The Bruins were 0-for-3 on the power play and allowed two goals on Toronto's five man advantages.

The first period harkened back to the glory days of the NHL-70s and 80s-when there was an abundance of goals and even a fight between Shawn Thornton and Frazer McLaren. It was Thornton's first brawl since he got back on Saturday in San Jose. Brad Marchand opened the barrage on Jonathan Bernier (38 saves) with a goal at 3:38 off a rebound. Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron assisted on Marchand's 11th of the season.

Tyler Bozak answered at 5:52 with a similar goal, off of Tuukka Rask's (22 saves) juicy rebound. Bozak was assisted by Milan Lucic's rag doll-Carl Gunnarssson and Phil Kessel (3 assists). Boston regained the lead at 10:48 after Bergeron's wraparound fooled Bernier and Toronto's defensemen. His 11th goal of the season was assisted by Zdeno Chara and Marchand.

Bozak potted his second goal at 12:47 of the first, this time on the power play to tie it at two. James van Riemsdyk and Kessel assisted on Bozak's goal which came after a cross ice feed left Rask out of position.

Little did we know that Toronto would rattle off two more goals before Boston responded (too late). Jake Gardiner's wrist shot on the power play made it 3-2 at 7:09. JVR got a lucky break a minute into the third when Johnny Boychuk sent him to the moon with a clean but filthy hit. He got hit so hard that one of the gloves flew into the crowd. He got the last laugh though as his routine wrist shot got by Rask a minute into the third period.

The Bruins' fourth line brought its typical energy and they were rewarded with a goal when Gregory Campbell roofed a backhander past Bernier at 9:35. Campbell had hit the post earlier on the same shift so the goal seemed like a gift from the hockey gods. It was his third goal of the season, assisted by Daniel Paille.

Boston outshot Toronto 41-26 for the game so they should have done more with all their scoring chances. They don't have much time to fix things as they visit Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and the Stars (21-18-7, 5th in Central Division) on Thursday (8:30, NESN).

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