Wednesday was a good night for both the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
We only had two games to watch on Wednesday night in the NHL, but they were two compelling ones with the Boston Bruins taking on the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs battling the Montreal Canadiens in what was two mouthwatering Original Six matchups.
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It turned out to be a productive evening for two of the top teams in the NHL as the Bruins beat the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden, with Brad Marchand scoring the game-winner in Overtime for the B’s. Julien Gauthier‘s first NHL goal had got the Blueshirts on the board first, before Chris Wagner and Anders Bjork scored back-to-back to put Boston back on top. Kevin Rooney’s third goal of the year did ensure that the Rangers got at least a point for their efforts, but Marchand came up with the goods to win a fourth straight for his team who improved to 9-1-2 on the year.
Auston Matthews was unable to make it nine straight games with a goal but he did tally an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs kept rolling by beating rivals the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 at Centre Bell. Matthews made it 11 games with a point with a helper on Zach Hyman‘s goal in the third period on a night where the Leafs got contributions from up and down the lineup. It was a big, big win for Toronto who remain the best team in both the North Division and the NHL right now, and this victory could go a long way in deciding who takes the top seed in the all-Canadian Division.
It was a fun night in the National Hockey League with four Original Six franchises slugging it out against each other, and we have division realignment and the shortened schedule to thank for what unfolded on Wednesday. And, although just two games, there’s plenty to break down and we’re going to take a look at the main talking points from across the two showdowns…
Main Storylines from Wednesday’s Original Six feast as Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs continue to roll
Depth comes up clutch for B’s
While it was a usual suspect in Brad Marchand who came up with the game-winner in Overtime for the Boston Bruins, they had their depth to thank for beating the New York Rangers in their first meeting of the 2020-21 season at Madison Square Garden.
After all, the B’s have been carried by The Perfection Line for much of this year with Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak all off to elite starts, while their secondary scoring has once again been largely missing. However, when they needed it most, the Bruins got depth scoring in abundance on Wednesday night.
It started in the second period when, after Julien Gauthier had scored his first-ever career goal in the NHL to give the Rangers the lead, gritty forward Chris Wagner forced a turnover before racing down the ice and ripping the puck in off the post for a shorthanded goal to make it a tied game.
Then, at 9:00 in the third period, the Bruins got another big goal from winger Anders Bjork who got to the front of the net before slipping the puck under the pads of Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev for what was a beautiful goal. It was Bjork’s first goal of the season and it certainly got the monkey off his back, while proving to be a big goal in the game. There is no doubt that the Boston Bruins are a legitimate contender this year but, if they want to embark on a deep postseason run, they will need big contributions from up and down the lineup so it was encouraging to see both Chris Wagner and Anders Bjork come up with huge goals on Wednesday.