Boston, MA- The Boston Bruins played their first preseason game at the TD Banknorth Garden Saturday afternoon, and were hoping to get things started on the right foot with the home crowd. Unfortunately, the Toronto Maple Leafs had other ideas, and the boys from the north skated away with a 4-3 shootout win.
It seemed like the Bruins were playing from behind right away. An Andrew Alberts holding minor 12 seconds into the game gave Toronto their first opportunity. The Bruins did manage to kill off that penalty, however the Leafs did find the scoreboard midway through the period on another man advantage. With Mark Mowers in the box serving a holding minor, Andy Wozniewski found John Mitchell open in the slot. Mitchell gathered in the pass and fired a quick shot past Boston goaltender Tim Thomas for the 1-0 Toronto lead.
Before the first period expired, the Bruins found themselves attempting to kill another penalty, and once again, the Maple Leafs found themselves turning on the red light. A nice passing play by the Leafs' Nik Antropov and John Pohl set up Chad Kilger for the second Toronto goal, giving them a 2-0 lead headed into the first intermission.
A different Bruins team came out for the second period, and they would get help from Toronto's lack of discipline to get back into the game. With former Bruin Hal Gill in the box for tripping, Boston finally beat Scott Clemmensen. Phil Kessel's power play goal from defensemen Andrew Ference and Dennis Wideman cut the Maple Leafs' lead in half at 2-1.
The score remained 2-1 for most of the second period, but the Bruins found a way to tie it up heading into the final stanza. Once again, Kessel got into the scoring act. He sent a pass back to Bobby Allen, who rifled a shot past Clemmensen's glove, tying the game at 2-2. Rookie Matt Hunwick picked up the second assist on the goal.
The Bruins took the early lead in the third period thanks to another power play tally. This time, David Ling was in the Toronto penalty box serving an interference minor. Marc Savard gave a pass to Bobby Allen. Allen quickly found Nate Thompson open in the slot with a perfect pass. With relative ease, Thompson took the pass and put the shot past Clemmensen, giving the Bruins their first lead of the game at 3-2.
The lead would not last long, as the Maple Leafs had a quick answer. 1:10 after Thompson's goal, the line that put together Toronto's first goal struck again. This time it was John Pohl finishing off the play from Chad Kilger and Nik Antropov.
The teams fought tooth and nail for the remainder of regulation and overtime, but couldn't solve Thomas or Clemmensen. The teams litterally fought as well, as Jeff Hoggan squared off with Kris Newbury midway through the third period. Andrew Ference and Robbie Earl exchanged unpleasantries as well, when Earl charged into goaltender Tim Thomas.
The teams went to a shootout, and in this shootout, the lack of accuracy on the part of the shooters kept it tied for quite some time. Out of the 14 shots taken, one found the back of the net, and one was stopped. The rest went wide, high, or off one of the posts. Ironically, the first shot of the shootout was the lone save - Thomas on Nik Antropov's backhander. On the seventh Toronto shot, the deadlock was broken. Defenseman Pavel Kubina's backhander found its' way past Tim Thomas and into the net. Newcomer Petteri Nokelainen had a chance to tie the shootout for the Bruins, but his shot rang off the post. The Maple Leafs grabbed the extra goal, and skated away with the 4-3 win.
Both goaltenders went the distance for their respective clubs. Scott Clemmensen stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced in the win, while Tim Thomas stopped 33 of the 36 he faced in the shootout loss.
The Bruins will not have much time to dwell on the loss as they will be right back on the ice Sunday for a tilt with the Montreal Canadiens. Faceoff is scheduled for 4:00 at the Halifax Metro Centre. This is the first of back-to-back games for Boston against Montreal.
1. TOR Mitchell (Wozniewski) (PP) 9:10
1. TOR Kilger (Pohl, Antropov) (PP) 18:10
2. BOS Kessel (Ference, Wideman) (PP) 6:35
2. BOS Allen (Kessel, Hunwick) (PP) 18:26
3. BOS Thompson (Allen, Savard) (PP) 6:09
3. TOR Pohl (Kilger, Antropov) 7:19
TOR Nik Antropov- S
TOR John Mitchell- S
TOR Simon Gamache- S
TOR John Pohl- S
TOR Anton Stralman- S
TOR David Ling- S
TOR Pavel Kubina- G
BOS Phil Kessel- S
BOS David Krejci- S
BOS Marc Savard- S
BOS Glen Metropolit- S
BOS Milan Lucic- S
BOS Brandon Bochenski- S
BOS Petteri Nokelainen- S
1. BOS Alberts- Holding 0:12
1. BOS Mowers- Interference 7:22
1. TOR Gill- High Sticking 12:57
1. TOR Harrison- Interference 15:07
1. BOS Hoggan- Hooking 17:47
1. TOR Boyce- Boarding 18:54
1. TOR Gill- Roughing 20:00
1. TOR Harrison- Fighting 20:00
1. BOS Schaefer- Roughing 20:00
1. BOS Wideman- Fighting 20:00
2. BOS Krejci- Slashing 1:22
2. BOS Nokelainen- Slashing 1:25
2. TOR Gill- Tripping 5:02
2. TOR Boyce- Holding 13:03
2. BOS Hunwick- Interference 13:29
2. TOR Boyce- Hooking 15:12
2. TOR Wozniewski- Holding 17:44
2. TOR Ling- Slashing 19:19
3. BOS Wideman- Interference 0:27
3. TOR Newbury- Tripping 2:43
3. BOS Nokelainen- Diving 2:43
3. BOS Bochenski- Holding 3:13
3. TOR Ling- Interference 5:45
3. BOS Wideman- Cross Checking (Double-Minor) 8:27
3. TOR Newbury- Fighting 11:06
3. BOS Hoggan- Fighting 11:06
3. TOR Ondrus- Roughing 11:50
3. BOS Wideman- Roughing 11:50
3. TOR Earl- Charging 12:37
3. TOR Earl- Roughing 12:37
3. BOS Ference- Roughing 12:37
3. BOS Ference- Roughing 14:29
3. TOR Newbury- Fighting 18:47
4. TOR Gill- Interference 1:58
TOR Scott Clemmensen: 25 shots, 22 saves
BOS Tim Thomas: 36 shots, 33 saves
Shots on Goal: