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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Bruins feeling more like themselves as they visit Maple Leafs

NHL News: Bruins feeling more like themselves as they visit Maple Leafs


The Boston Bruins will find out if they really are back on track when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night.

The Bruins ended a three-game losing streak Thursday with a 3-0 home victory over the lowly San Jose Sharks. The Bruins rediscovered their checking game against the Sharks.

“It was really important,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “You give up 17 goals in three games and we didn’t look anything like ourselves. It was good to see us look like ourselves without the puck in all three zones.”

While the Bruins were returning to normal, the Maple Leafs needed a shootout to defeat the visiting Seattle Kraken 4-3 on Thursday despite leading 3-1 in the third period. Mitchell Marner scored three goals — his second career hat trick — and then notched the decisive goal in the three-round shootout.

Marner — who wore a mask after taking a puck to the face in Toronto’s 2-1 shootout win over the visiting Florida Panthers Tuesday — ended an eight-game drought without a goal.

“Obviously, it feels really good,” Marner said. “Like I’ve been saying, I haven’t been happy with my own gameplay, I thought I haven’t been my best. I’ve helped this team win enough games playing my best to have an impact on games. I felt good tonight, moving my feet, getting pucks in the right places and making plays off it, and at the same time not forcing stuff, being smart with my pucks.”

The Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in a shootout Nov. 2 at Boston.

Danton Heinen, who is on a new line with Brad Marchand and Matt Poitras, scored his third goal of the season early in the second period Thursday to start the Bruins on their way.

“Danton Heinen’s a good hockey player,” Montgomery said. “He’s making plays all over the ice. He’s making those around him better.”

Jake DeBrusk and Pavel Zacha also scored for Boston.

Jeremy Swayman made 26 saves to earn his 11th career shutout as the Bruins showed signs of returning to their team identity.

“That second period was the biggest indicator,” Swayman said. “Hitting guys, keeping pucks deep in possession. Obviously, defense, blocking shots, boxing guys out, making my job easy, and that’s what we do best is stick to our identity. And that’s big for us.”

The Maple Leafs had a big game from goaltender Joseph Woll, who made 37 saves against the Kraken and was at his best in overtime.

Woll stopped Jordan Eberle on a close-in shot with 36 seconds left in overtime.

“It was kind of a weird broken play type of thing,” Woll said. “I was just trying to do everything I can to throw whatever I can in front of it.”

Toronto again had difficulty closing out a game.

“We don’t want to give up that third-period lead,” Marner said. “We’re a team that wants to be in that position a lot, and wants to be a lot better in that position. Good things all around, but you don’t want to give up those two-goal leads, especially in the third.

“Seems like we have everything pretty locked down, doing things well. I just think we can’t be timid; we can’t be sitting back on our heels. We’re a team that, when we are playing our best, is attacking on the forecheck still.”

–Field Level Media

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