Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff December 10, 2009 08:50 PM
Over the last two Boston-Toronto showdowns, ex-Leaf made 63 saves. Former Bruin Phil Kessel had zero points.
Result: two wins for the Bruins, including tonight's 5-2 victory.
"It's hard for me to answer," Claude Julien said when asked whether Kessel was pressing or whether the Bruins eliminated the wing as a threat. "I think when Phil doesn't have much room, that's normally what happens, whether it's with them or with us. He didn't battle through too much, and we didn't give him much room. He's a great skater. He's a pure goal scorer. He has that quick release. Those are his qualities. I think our guys did a good job against him and didn't give him much. Somehow, he didn't battle through it."
- Mark Recchi scored a backbreaking power-play goal to make it a 4-2 game. Recchi was foiled by Vesa Toskala on his first chance, but stayed in front and tucked in Blake Wheeler's feed. "I got rewarded for staying around there," Recchi said.
- Steve Begin landed eight hits. This was Begin's 15th game as alternate captain. If Julien sticks to his 15-game rotation plan, Begin will give up the "A" against the Islanders on Saturday. Begin was an ideal alternate.
- The Bruins practice tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at Ristuccia Arena.
STICK SALUTE: Mark Stuart. Nails the opening goal and takes on Jamal Mayers twice.
SIN BIN: Jason Blake. Silly offensive-zone high-sticking call that led to Recchi's PPG.
All done at the Garden. Bruins, 5-2.
19:48 (3). Bruins, 5-2. Patrice Bergeron sets up Mark Recchi for the ENG.
17:19 (3). Bruins, 4-2. Mark Recchi, foiled on his first attempt, stays in the net-front danger area and gets rewarded with the PPG.
15:59 (3). Jason Blake clips Zdeno Chara for a high-sticking penalty. Chara and Derek Morris playing against Blake, Mikhail Grabovski, and Niklas Hagman instead of Phil Kessel's line.
12:05 (3). Tuukka Rask dives to get a piece of Matt Stajan's bid. Leafs are coming.
11:05 (3). Michael Ryder shoots his second shot wide of the net.
5:30 (3). Blake Wheeler whiffs on a Marc Savard setup. Wheeler's had a handful of Grade-A scoring opportunities.
4:09 (3). Timeout Bruins.
4:09 (3). Bruins, 3-2. Mike Komisarek spots Nikolai Kulemin at the far post. Good hands by Kulemin to elevate the puck over Tuukka Rask.
1:30 (3). Mark Recchi misses an open net. Vesa Toskala had left the crease to play the puck.
0:18 (3). Bruins, 3-1. With Jason Blake crashing the net, Mikhail Grabovski scores on a close-range shot.
After 40 minutes, Bruins with a 3-0 lead.
- Might be time to ride Tuukka Rask. The rookie netminder is in a zone. Looks calm on virtually every shot. When necessary, as evidenced prior to David Krejci, Rask can pull out the acrobatics to make the oh-wow save.
- The Leafs have been completely careless with the puck tonight. Lots of cough-ups in their own zone. Not much puck possession in the offensive end. Doesn't look like the Leafs have much fight in them.
- Toronto likes to have Tomas Kaberle and Francois Beauchemin on the points for long stretches on the power play. It makes the Leafs vulnerable to shorthanded chances late in the power play when their legs aren't as fresh.
17:30 (2). Marc Savard throws a hit in the corner on Phil Kessel.
15:00 (2). Mike Komisarek lays out Blake Wheeler as he crossed the blue line. Clean hit by Komisarek.
11:10 (2). Bruins, 3-0. Moments after Tuukka Rask makes a big-time stop on Tomas Kaberle, David Krejci goes in on a breakaway. Two-goal swing.
6:39 (2). Steve Begin is back on the ice for a few spins during the TV timeout. Looked like he was shaking out his right leg in the runway.
6:16 (2). Steve Begin to the room. Begin got up slow after colliding with Nikolai Kulemin in the defensive zone.
5:13 (2). Colton Orr delivers a post-whistle jolt to Daniel Paille.
4:33 (2). Phil Kessel with a close-range shot. Tuukka Rask stands tall.
4:11 (2). Mark Stuart vs. Jamal Mayers. This time, the two go at it for real as they step out of the box. Both fighters land big shots.
2:07 (2). Mark Stuart vs. Jamal Mayers. The two get together again. Brief fight, with Stuart landing a few shots before Mayers loses an edge. Roughing minors for both.
0:35 (2). Bruins, 2-0. With Ian White in the box, Derek Morris tees up a slap shot from the right circle. Marco Sturm in front setting the screen.
After 20 minutes, Bruins with a 1-0 lead. Shots even, 9-9.
- As usual, heads-up piece of coaching by Claude Julien to set up his team's first goal. Prior to the goal, the Leafs' fourth line had iced the puck. Julien pulled off his fourth line and sent out Marc Savard's threesome to take the offensive-zone draw. Savard beat Jamal Mayers, Daniel Paille fed Johnny Boychuk at the point, and Mark Stuart beat Vesa Toskala. Appeared that Toskala had a good look at Stuart's shot.
- Textbook play by Andrew Ference to bust up a three-on-two. Jason Blake carried the puck into the Bruins zone, but Ference stood up the wing, allowing Dennis Wideman to gain control of the puck.
- Wideman doesn't look out of sorts after missing the last three practices.
19:30 (1). Johnny Boychuk dumps Phil Kessel at the blue line.
17:18 (1). Good chance in front for Mark Recchi. Vesa Toskala with the stop and cover.
15:50 (1). Tuukka Rask gets a piece of Matt Stajan's changeup shot.
13:50 (1). Zdeno Chara swats the puck off Phil Kessel's stick.
8:01 (1). Bruins, 1-0. Marc Savard wins the draw, the Bruins work it back to Mark Stuart, and the defenseman hits a one-timer from the point through Vesa Toskala.
6:35 (1). Michael Ryder with a quick snap shot off the right post. Clever work by David Krejci and Vladimir Sobotka to open up Ryder.
4:40 (1). Kes-sel, Kes-sel.
4:16 (1). Three PP shots in four minutes for the Bruins.
3:36 (1). Good PP chance in front for Blake Wheler. Goes wide while bothered by a diving Luke Schenn.
0:16 (1). Dennis Wideman gets hit in the chops by a Jason Blake high stick. Double minor on Blake.
Byron Bitz is out because he is under the weather. Matt Hunwick, a healthy scratch last Saturday, is back in the lineup tonight as the left wing on the fourth line.