It looked like after nine years between postseason series, the Toronto Maple Leafs would stick around for a little bit longer. The Boston Bruins had other plans.
Maple Leafs blueliner Cody Franson scored twice, former Bruins forward Phil Kessel added his fourth marker of the series early in the third period, and 22-year-old Nazem Kadri gave Toronto a 4-1 lead.
But the Bruins surged with three unanswered goals in the final 10:42 minutes of regulation, including markers by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron just 31 seconds apart in the dying minutes of the third period. Boston took that momentum into overtime and sent Toronto home.
Here are the talking points:
- Through 40 minutes, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had already logged an unreal 22:10 minutes. The next highest on either team after two periods was Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf with 18:22 minutes. That’s partially due to the fact that Dennis Seidenberg suffered an undisclosed injury and was limited to 37 seconds. Chara went on to lead both teams with 35:46 minutes.
- The Boston Bruins absolutely dominated on the draw during this game with a 70% success rate.
- Bruins coach Claude Julien has been criticized lately for his reluctance to mix up his lines, but CSN New England noted that he did try swapping Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr tonight.
- With three goals in this series, Franson scored more often than every Leafs player except for Kessel. Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul matched Franson’s three goals in this series.
- Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored a postseason goal for the first time in his NHL career. Kadri also found the back of the net for the first time in the playoffs.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer