That was all kinds of crazy, at times, between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, like a throwback to an era long gone by in hockey.
The two teams traded goals, and plenty of them. They traded big hits. They traded punches, with Matt Martin and Adam McQuaid meeting in a heavyweight bout. Martin left the game briefly, after he was knocked to the ice on a devastating punch at the end of the fight, but he did return in the third period.
By the time this chaos was all over, the Maple Leafs had survived the threat of yet another third-period collapse by defeating the Bruins 6-5 on Saturday.
That’s a big win for Toronto. They all are at this time of the season. For a young and talented team in the thick of the playoff battle, it ends a three-game losing streak. It also moves them one point behind Boston for third in the Atlantic Division and two points back of the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card spot in the East.
It looked, at least midway through the second period, like the Maple Leafs would win this in a rout. William Nylander recorded the hat trick, which included this terrific goal for his first of the night, and they chased Tuukka Rask from the Bruins net with four goals on 14 shots.
The Bruins, though, didn’t go away.
They tied the game at 4-4 early in the third, conceded another Toronto goal and then came back to even the score once again, before James van Riemsdyk finally scored the deciding goal for the Maple Leafs with 1:36 remaining. The late goal denies Boston at least an important single point.
The Maple Leafs are on the road versus the New York Islanders on Monday. The Bruins now have four days off before they host San Jose on Thursday.