Toronto Maple Leafs: Marleau’s OT goal gets two points against Bruins

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images /

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their recent run of success against the Boston Bruins on Friday night, thanks to Patrick Marleau. Despite a third period lead, Boston lost the game 3-2 after Patrick Marleau scored in overtime. It’s the fifth straight time the Maple Leafs have topped the Bruins in the regular season.

Patrick Marleau had one hell of a debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his performance on Friday night is another reminder of what the aging winger is capable of. He may not take over games every night. But with his OT goal against the Boston Bruins, Marleau again showed his value as a wily veteran on this Maple Leafs team.

The game

The Bruins entered tonight losers in four of their last six. A road win against their division rival would have done a lot for team morale and in the standings, but it wasn’t meant to be.

After a scoreless first period, Patrice Bergeron opened up scoring late in the second. In the last minute of the period, Bruins center Riley Nash took a slashing penalty. In a sign of things to come, the Bruins blew their lead. Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk tied the game with just 16 seconds to go in the period.

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A mostly scoreless third period was interrupted when the Bruins scored a power-play goal of their own. Dave Pastrnak netted goal number 10 on the season with under five minutes to go, and he had Bruins fans dreaming of two points.

James van Riemsdyk decided he hadn’t caused enough Harpoon consumption for one night, tying the game with a minute to go.

In overtime, the Leafs launched into an odd-man rush the culminated in a 3-on-2 in the Bruins zone. Mitch Marner pulled up as Toronto entered the zone, faking a pass to Marleau as the veteran crashed the net. Marner instead dished it off to Jake Gardiner on his right, as Marleau tipped in the shot to give the Leafs another win over the Bruins.

How the turntables have turned

It feels like forever ago, but Boston fans once held the ultimate trump card in their Original Six rivalry with Toronto.

In the 2013 NHL playoffs, the Bruins came back from a 0-3 deficit to beat the Maple Leafs in an epic seven-game first round series. It was just the third time an NHL team had come back from the deepest possible hole to win a series.

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The Bruins entered tonight having lost their last four games against the Maple Leafs. These rivalries tend to run in fits and spurts, and those five Toronto wins and 392 days since their last rivalry victory surely weigh on the Bruins, no matter how many Cups they have since 1967.