Bruins Drop Game 2 to Maple Leafs: What Happened?

The Boston Bruins were defeated at home Monday night by the Toronto Maples 3-2. They now head to Toronto with the series tied 1-1.
Apr 22, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates
Apr 22, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins entered Monday night’s game with the chance to take a 2-0 series lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Entering the game, the biggest question was whether head coach Jim Montgomery would stick with the goalie rotation that the Bruins had utilized all season long. This question was answered at 6:45 when Linus Ullmark led the team out for the pregame skate. It was a bold move by Montgomery given how well Jeremy Swayman had played in the team’s previous Game 1 victory. Ullmark looked shaky early, but would eventually settle in as the game progressed.

The Bruins jumped to an early lead thanks to a powerplay goal scored by Morgan Geekie assisted by Marchand and DeBrusk.

The Bruins were unable to hold this early lead as Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Max Domi, tied the game 14 seconds later. A defensive breakdown by Hampus Lindholm allowed Max Domi two chances on Ullmark as he tucked in the game tier at 10:32 of the first period. As time ticked down in the first period, it looked as if the teams would enter the locker room at 1-1. A chance down low by Bruins forward Charlie Coyle appeared to stun Maple Leafs goaltender, Ilya Samsonov, and knock his helmet off. Only seconds later, off an offensive face zone win, Pavel Zacha fed David Pastrnak for a perfectly executed one timer to give the Bruins the edge headed to the room. This would be the last goal of the night for the Bruins as generating offense became a struggle for the black and gold.

The Bruins would go on to get outplayed by the Maple Leafs throughout the second and third periods. The Leafs captain, John Tavares, would eventually tie the game at two a piece at 18:26 of the second period on the powerplay (a questionable interference call against Matt Gryzelcyk). Auston Matthew would later give the Leafs the lead late in the third period on a flip/stretch pass from Max Domi that would send the 69 goal scorer on a breakaway against Linus Ullmark. As well as Ullmark played throughout the night, he stood no chance against Matthews. Matthews made a quick move right to left move and roofed the go ahead goal. Ullmark stood on his head throughout the game and a goal like that is almost impossible to stop. The real story of this game is, what happened to the Bruins offense?

After their 2 goals in the first period, the Bruins would go on to get blanked. The Maple Leafs took control of the game after the first intermission as the Bruins could not maintain sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Charlie Coyle, Morgan Geekie and Jakub Lauko were the only ones who appeared to have any juice. Everyone else appeared to be going through the motions and were just out for a skate. Jim Montgomery in the postseason is known to mess with his lines and shake things up but his decision to put Pat Maroon on the powerplay down a goal will be second guessed.

Why was Brad Marchand or Jake DeBrusk not on the ice? Especially when the team had not been able to generate any real offense since the first period. Besides a late flurry with the goalie pulled, the Bruins were unable to generate any real pressure. While Samsonov played well, Pastrnak and company will need to do more to test the net minder. The Bruins will need to shake this one off and get ready for Game 3 Wednesday night in Toronto.

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