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Phil Kessel, Mikhail Grabovski sink Bruins
Posted By DJ Bean On February 15, 2011 @ 9:36 pm In General | 1 Comment
With trade rumors surrounding the team, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski proved to be all the Maple Leafs needed on Tuesday night as they beat the Bruins, 4-3.
The Bruins received goals from Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron.
Kessel — who entered Tuesday riding a streak of 14 straight games without a goal — scored twice on the power play for the Leafs, while Grabovski had two of his own.
Paille, who was playing in his first game since being suspended four games for a blindside hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada, opened the scoring 8:04 into the first period thanks to an odd bounce off Mike Komisarek. The Leafs responded in the first period when Kessel batted a rebound past Tim Thomas with Zdeno Chara in the penalty box for boarding.
Toronto took a 2-1 lead in the second thanks to Grabovski’s strike, though the B’s came back with a power-play tally from Campbell and went ahead on Bergeron’s 20th goal of the season in the third period. Grabovski put the Leafs up for good at 18:59 with a wrist shot that beat Thomas.
With the loss, Thomas fell to 26-8-6 and has now allowed 15 goals in his last 10 periods. James Reimer got the win for the Leafs, improving to 7-4-1.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Not only did Kessel score for the first time in 14 games, but he scored his first and second goals against his old team. Not counting Kessel’s shootout tally against the B’s on Dec. 4 (which does not count as an actual goal in the player’s stats), Kessel went without a goal in his first nine games against the Bruins since being traded to the Maple Leafs in September of 2009.
Both of Kessel’s goals came on the power play, so he was still a minus-2 on the night given that he was out there for Paille and Bergeron’s goals.
– A funny bounce hurt the Bruins, and Thomas, when a Carl Gunnerson shot from the point drew the goalie over to his right to make the save. The puck bounced off a Bruins player’s skate and changed direction before Thomas could get to it, allowing Grabovski to gain possession and score the easy goal.
Grabovski was a pain in the neck for the Bruins. In addition to scoring the goal that put the Leafs up in the second period, he drew the Chara interference penalty late in the first period that led to Kessel’s power-play goal.
– The B’s penalty kill allowed multiple goals for the third time in the last four games, as the Leafs scored twice on three power plays. The team also allowed multiple power-play goals to the Canadiens last Wednesday and the Red Wings on Friday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Paille actually has three points in the last three games he has played. Such a trend is tough to pick up on given that he was suspended for the four games entering Tuesday night. Tuesday’s tally was an unorthodox one, as Paille was trying to send a pass to Campbell and it bounced off Komisarek and in. Paille now has two goals in 26 games played for the B’s this season.
– Give credit to Claude Julien for putting Brad Marchand and Campbell on the power play. The two players certainly don’t boast the flashy pizazz of your typical power-play guys, but the coach made the move to put them on the unit last week and it paid dividends Tuesday. It was Marchand’s shot that led to the rebound that Campbell swatted past Reimer to tie the game late in the second period.
– Bergeron came up big late for the Bruins. After Adam McQuaid fired a shot from the point, Bergeron, tangled up with Dion Phaneuf in front of the net and took multiple whacks at the rebound as he was being taken down.
The 25-year-old now has 20 goals on the season, the third such time he has reached the plateau. He last scored 20 in the 2006-07 campaign.
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