The Boston Bruins were 35-0-2 this season when leading after 2, having never lost in regulation in that situation.
The Edmonton Oilers claw back to break up the Bruins’ brilliant home ice run: Cult of Hockey Player Grades
Here is the tale of the tape…
Cult of Hockey Player Grades
STUART SKINNER. 6. Whiffed on the Bruins’ first shot of the game, the puck pin-balling through his pads and in. This, after his team had all but dominated Boston the first four minutes. The, after rebounding with a number of fine saves mid-period, a terrible turnover by him led to the 2-0 with 0.3 left in the 1st. But after putting his squarely behind the 8-ball, Skinner slammed the door closed the rest of the way. Stopped Bergeron on a late 2nd period 1-timer. Big stop on Carlo off a turnover in the 3rd. Ultimately stopped 26 of 28 for the victory. A lot of goalies would crumble after a start like that. Skinner did not.
EVANDER KANE. 5. Played with jump in his first game back. Called for a 1st Period hold which the Bruins’ Lindholm embellished. Heavy hit on Zacha in the first 20, one of 3 on the night.
KAILER YAMAMOTO. 4. Ineffective, especially over 40 minutes. Allowed Orlov to walk out of the corner for a dangerous chance in the 3rd. Got going a bit late, but his performance was uneven at best.
MATTIAS JANMARK. 6. Primary assist on the 2-1 after picking up a loose puck along the wall in the neutral zone. Good neutral zone takeaway.
BRETT KULAK. 4. Absolutely crushed in shot shares 5v5 (8-18, 31%). An indecisive poke check at the attacking blueline led to a Bruins 2-on-1 in the other direction. But he managed to saw-off in Grade A’s at 3-3.
VINCENT DESHARNAIS. 5. Heavy hit on Frederic in the 2nd. Chased quite a bit on the 3rd pairing, but managed to limit the damage.
DEREK RYAN. 6. The veteran continues to pitch in and make it impossible to take him out of the lineup. His hard forecheck helped lead to the 2-2. No assist but the goal does not get scored without hiscontribution on that sequence. Drew a 3rd Period PP. A key intercept and clear late in the 3rd. 3 hits. Quite an impact in just 8:56.
Also, a stick tap to the Oilers video crew…as the original Bruins 2-0 was (correctly) called back on the off-side.
The Oilers are now 36-22-8, 80 points. Edmonton holds the 1st Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, but are just 4 points out of 1st. Toronto is next.
Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, on Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and now on Mastodon at KurtLeavins@mstdn.social
Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators
The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday.
The Maple Leafs (44-20-9), who clinched when the Florida Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, are second in the Atlantic Division, 22 points behind the Boston Bruins and seven ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s the seventh straight season Toronto has clinched a playoff berth. It hasn’t won a postseason series since 2004.
The Maple Leafs are led by forwards Mitchell Marner (94 points), William Nylander (81), Auston Matthews (77), and John Tavares (75). Ilya Samsonov is 24-9-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Matt Murray is 14-8-2 with a 2.97 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout in 25 games.
Toronto made several moves prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, acquiring forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 17, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 28 and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28.
O’Reilly is expected back before the playoffs begin April 17. He hasn’t played since getting hit in the hand by Matthews’ shot in the second period of a 4-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and was projected to be out four weeks.
The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, once each as the Toronto Arenas (1917-18) and the Toronto St. Patricks (1921-22). They are without an NHL championship since 1967.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury
Canadian Bianca Andreescu suffered an apparent leg injury during the second set of her match against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Miami Open on Monday.
Andreescu was injured in the third game of the second set of the Round of 16 match while trying to run down a ball in the back court. She remained down on the court, before receiving medical attention and leaving the court in a wheelchair.
Alexandrova won the first set of the match 7-6, Andreescu was up 2-0 in the second set when she retired from the match due to the injury.
The match was delayed for an hour by rain in the middle of the opening set.
The 22-year-old Canadian was playing well at the Miami tournament, entering play on Monday with victories over Emma Raducanu, No. 7 Maria Sakkari and Sofia Kenin earlier in the competition.
Quick Reaction: Wizards 104, Raptors 114
|O. Anunoby37 MIN, 29 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-
From the opening tip OG was a force offensively and continued to flash the self creation signs that everyone wants to see, he had a career high 18 in the first quarter and hit a lot of tough jumpers off the bounce, as well as spaced the floor with catch and shoot triples.
|P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-
Pretty poor game from Pascal by his standards, a lot of shots seemed forced and he couldn’t finish through contact, very well, his playmaking also was muted because he seemed to be hunting his own shot.
|J. Poeltl26 MIN, 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-
Jakob’s floaters and push shots worked wonderfully tonight and he did a great job not rushing it like he does most games, offensive rebounding was also key as well, Jakob had 6 in this game which led to countless second chance points.
|S. Barnes32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Solid game in his first game back from injury, hit some tough looks in the paint, passing looked good tonight as well, efficiency was a bit off but we can chalk that up to being rusty.
|F. VanVleet36 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 10-21 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-
Offensive masterclass from Fred VanVleet, he was zooming all over the floor and he was really burning Washington with his outside shooting, but his playmaking shined really bright tonight as well.
|W. Barton04 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-
Left the game early with an injury.
|C. Boucher22 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-
Boucher was battling on the class yet again and often gave Toronto an extra look tonight, he also was solid as a rim protector as well.
|J. Dowtin Jr.19 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-
Didn’t add a whole lot offensively but he was harassing guys on ball as a defender, and moving the rock well as well, would like to see Dowtin look for his own a bit more often
|C. Koloko15 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-
Koloko entered the game by recording a steal and then a block on back to back possessions, and then he continued to play solid defense in drop coverage, really strong game for the rook.
|M. Flynn07 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-
Didn’t take advantage of his looks on the floor tonight.
|P. Achiuwa06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-
Another rough night for Precious as he tries to regain his footing, just couldn’t find it defensively, ran the floor in transition just fine during limited time.
Although Toronto was healthier, Nurse didn’t force anyone into minutes that were going to damage the team.
Things We Saw
- OG Anunoby flashed creation skills once again, in the face up game he burned Washington many times and he even hit a pull up three.
- Christian Koloko played some pretty nice defense, his technique in drop was really good tonight.
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