As seen on NESN -- Right winger Darcy Tucker scored two goals, including the game-winner, as his Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-3, in sudden-death overtime Saturday night in Toronto's Air Canada Centre. The Bruins Glen Murray, Dennis Wideman, and Zdeno Chara scored for Boston, now 1-0-1 on their current five game road swing.
"Well, it's more about our start and the way we came out in the first period," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "Somehow, we have to establish a lead.
"We didn't bury [our chances], and it came back to haunt us.
"The big challenge for us is to bear down and find ways to score those goals," he said.
The Bruins had arrived in Toronto with a 3-0-1 record against the Maple Leafs and hoped to extend a three game winning streak on the road. Goaltender Tim Thomas took to the net for Boston and right wing Chuck Kobasew, tied with fellow forward Marco Sturm for the team lead in goals with 19, returned to the lineup after missing a game with a back injury.
The B's took control early off some strong forchecking in the Maple Leafs zone. Marc Savard worked the puck loose to P.J. Axelsson. Axelsson then feathered a pass to Murray who found the back to of the net behind Vesa Toskala.
"Savvy made a great play just to keep it alive," said Murray to NESN's Rob Simpson. "I tried to stay high, and Axie found me in the slot."
Boston continued to pour shots on the Maple Leafs net, but it would be the Buds who scored next.
Dominic Moore, a former Harvard Crimson skater, took advantage of a defensive mistake in the Boston zone and put a puck over the prone Thomas to make the scoreboard read 1-1. It was a disappointing moment for Boston who had clearly controlled the puck for most of the period and had outshot Toronto 18-9 in the session.
Toronto seemed to take it to Boston in the second period, but Thomas kept the Maple Leafs out of the Bruins goal and the B's in the game.
And, after he made a diving play to keep the puck in the zone on a B's power play, Wideman and his teammates cycled the puck around the Toronto zone. The young defenseman ended up with the puck in the center of the ice, saw a hole, and punched a goal through the Maple Leafs defense at 18:36.
Thanks to Wideman, Boston, who had been outshot in the period, 12-3, skated to their locker room up 2-1.
The third period started as a back-and-forth affair with neither squad taking complete control, but Toronto began to press and outshot the B's 8-1 through the first ten minutes.
With six minutes remaining in the game, Toronto went on a two-man advantage and tied the game when Tucker, stationed five feet off Thomas' left post, fielded a gorgeous pass from Mats Sundin and scored his 11th of the year at 14:18.
Then, less than two minutes later, Tucker drove the B's net and dished short-side to Nik Antropov whose shot found the back of the Boston net at 16:09.
But with 49.8 seconds remaining in regulation time, Sturm drove into the Toronto zone and put a shot on Toskala. B's captain Zdeno Chara crashed the front of the Maple Leafs net, stuffed the puck by the prone Toronto goalie and into the goal to make the score 3-3.
Toronto Maple Leafs' Darcy Tucker celebrates his third period goal against Boston. Tucker also scored the game-winner in overtime for a 4-3 win. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)
Boston had forced the extra session and had earned one point, but a heartbreaking turn of events sent the B's to the showers with an overtime loss.
Toronto's Tomas Kaberle started a rush into the B's zone and quickly dished to Tomas Steen. Steen found Tucker, who scored past a helpless Thomas, to end the game and earn the Maple Leafs two points.
"We came out strong in the first period, but we never sustained it," said defenseman Andrew Ference after the game. "The second period wasn't even close to what we brought to the first.
"Once again, we didn't have consistent play throughout the whole game."
The Bruins returned home after the game and will travel to face Carolina on Tuesday.