Pas­tr­nak, Bru­ins give Leafs their first loss on the road

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - MARK ZWOLIN­SKI SPORTS RE­PORTER

If this was a mea­sur­ing stick for the Maple Leafs, they didn’t mea­sure up.

The Leafs lost in their first game back in Bos­ton since a Game 7 loss to the Bru­ins in the first round of the playoffs last spring. They got a so-so per­for­mance from Gar­ret Sparks in a 5-1 loss at TD Gar­den, but didn’t sup­port him well de­fen­sively. As a re­sult, Bos­ton scored twice in the sec­ond and third pe­ri­ods, send­ing the Leafs to their first road loss in seven away games this sea­son.

Of­fen­sive stars: David Pas­tr­nak notched a hat trick and now has an NHL-lead­ing 15 goals, while line­mate Pa­trice Berg­eron had a goal and had a great pass to set up Pas­tr­nak’s goal. The Pas­tr­nak-Berg­eron-Marc­hand line has scored 29 of Bos­ton’s 48 goals. They put up a pair of power play goals, and ac­counted for nine points over­all Satur­day night.

De­fen­sive stars: Toronto turned in an ex­cel­lent first pe­riod de­fen­sively, shut­ting off space in the neu­tral zone and lim­it­ing the Bru­ins to just five shots (20-6 edge for Leafs in shots af­ter one pe­riod). Toronto, though, lost that edge in the sec­ond. Their de­fence­man, which were stel­lar in the first pe­riod, al­lowed the Bru­ins’ big line far too much room to op­er­ate, and they paid a steep price for it. Bos­ton re­sponded in the sec­ond with a 16-10 edge in shots, but where out­shot 41-34 over­all.

“It’s a 60 minute game,” Leafs de­fence­man Mor­gan Rielly said. “It’s im­por­tant to have a good start. I thought we did that, and then we re­ally didn’t fol­low that up.” Turn­ing point: Pas­tr­nak’s pow­er­play goal mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod put Bos­ton up 3-0, and put the game out of reach for the Leafs.

Talk­ing point: Mitch Marner is noth­ing short of amaz­ing with the puck but has found the go­ing tough over the past two games. He has one as­sist over that span — the set-up on Tavares goal Satur­day night. He now has a goal and three as­sists in five Novem­ber games so far.

Take­aways: Right now, the Leafs have yet to show they can com­pete with the Bru­ins. Toronto forced a Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs last spring, and owned the puck pos­ses­sion met­rics in the first pe­riod Satur­day (65 per cent). But Bos­ton took over the game in the sec­ond pe­riod, beat­ing Toronto in key puck bat­tles. The re­sult was a pair of sec­ond-pe­riod goals for the Bru­ins, who made the usu­ally swift Leafs look slow … Sparks was play­ing in his first game in 26 days. He wasn’t rusty; in fact, he had some great saves, es­pe­cially on a close-in chance in the sec­ond pe­riod, where Pas­tr­nak al­most had his hat trick goal.

Up next: The Leafs visit the L.A. Kings Tues­day to kick off a three-game Western road swing.

WINSLOW TOWN­SON THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bos­ton Bru­ins goal­tender Jaroslav Halak makes a save as Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hy­man looks for the re­bound on Satur­day in Bos­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.