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Talking Points: Bruins Pull Out Thrilling 4-3 Win Over Leafs

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BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from a thrilling Adams Division tilt between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk got the game-winner for the Bruins with 1:16 left in regulation and the Bruins avoided their first losing streak of the season.

GOLD STAR: It’s rare that you can say this, but Brad Marchand was a non-factor in the 3-0 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night. If you have been watching Marchand over his future hall of fame career though, you know that it’s every rare that the star winger will be invisible two straight games. On Saturday night, as expected, Marchand came out like a bat out of hell. Marchand got robbed point blank 1:40 into the game but that did not deter him as assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s goal 15:02 into the first period, and finished four shots, a hit and a blocked shot.

BLACK EYE: After snapping a 17-game goalless streak on Dec. 27, and then scoring the following game against his former team, the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins winger Pavel Zacha is struggling to find the twine again. Zacha came into the game riding a six-game goalless streak and blew a golden chance to snap that streak of futility in the second period. Less than two minutes after A.J. Greer put the Bruins up 3-2, Zacha found himself with the puck on a 2-on-1 and staring down an empty-net after Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray let off a juicy rebound and was out of position. Zacha rang one off the post and the game remained a one-goal game. That ultimately paved the way for Leafs star forward Auston Matthews to tie the game 3:17 into the third period.

TURNING POINT: Yes, it’s a no-brainer here but Matt Grzelcyk picked a great time to score his first goal since Oct. 28. Grzelcyk broke a 3-3 deadlock with 1:16 left in regulation to help the Bruins avoid their first losing streak of the season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Following his team’s optional game day skate on Saturday, Marchand was singing the praises of Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting who is having a great season for the Leafs. Much like Marchand, Bunting can get under the skin of opponents, play a physical game, control the puck and score goals. On Saturday night, that was on full display as Bunting put his team up 1-0 early on a powerplay goal, and also added an assist when he set up Matthews for that game-tying goal in the third period.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – As one full minute of rock-em, sock-em hockey 2:43 into regulation! Boston Bruins winger Nick Foligno and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds went toe-to-toe for a minute in what this scribe thinks is a fight of the year candidate. In what sadly has become the norm in the NHL, a solid, clean hit by Simmonds on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo meant Simmonds had to drop the gloves. That being said, this puck scribe is glad Simmonds did have to answer the bell because that was a fight that both teams needed to snap themselves out of a funk and get TD Garden rocking.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was great. The crowd was into it. Two elite teams in the league going at it and it was great hockey” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery postgame.

 

 

 

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