BOSTON – Par Lindholm scored his first goal as a member of the Boston Bruins, while Brett Ritchie scored just his second as the Bruins salvaged a split in a home-and-home set with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins (6-1-2, 14 points) now sit two points ahead of the Maple Leafs (5-4-2, 12 points) in the Atlantic Division.
It was Ritchie, signed on July 1st from the Dallas Stars, who pushed the Bruins over the Leafs on this night. Jake DeBrusk’s initial shot hit a body in front, and the puck bounced right to the stick of Ritchie. Ritchie snapped a shot behind a sprawling Hutchinson for his second of the season 6:35 into the third period. Tuukka Rask, in his 500th career NHL game, picked up the victory making 28 saves. Former Bruins draft choice Michael Hutchinson stopped 35 in defeat.
The Bruins struck first in this game, as David Pastrnak jumped James Neal to take over the league lead in goals. His tenth of the season, scored on the powerplay at 17:15 of the first period, was his 300th career NHL point. Pastrnak scored the goal in-close after collecting the puck at the side of the Maple Leafs net. He slid the puck between his legs and lifted a shot over the glove of Hutchinson.
What an absurd goal from David Pastrnak. pic.twitter.com/JAIXADRj8V
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 22, 2019
The Maple Leafs responded early in the second period, as Kasperi Kapanen scored his third of the season just 4:23 into the frame. Kapanen took a feed from Alexander Kerfoot in the slot and slapped a one-timer by Rask. It only took the Bruins 1:46 to regain the lead. Fittingly, Brad Marchand again burned the Leafs, scoring his fifth of the season at 6:09. He took a beautiful cross-ice pass from Pastrnak and snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Hutchinson.
A seesaw second period continued when the Leafs again tied the game. Kerfoot, the Harvard product who has been a thorn in the Bruins side this season, took a Kapanen feed in the slot and blasted home his fourth of the season on the powerplay at 12:54. That set the stage for a third period battle for two points.
Ritchie’s goal at 6:35 of the third period put the Bruins up for good, while Lindholm added his first as a Bruin for good measure at 17:57 to cement the victory. Lindholm scored just one goal a season ago as a member of the Leafs.
The Bruins return to action on Saturday night when they host the St. Louis Blues.