TORONTO – Brad Marchand scored at 4:52 of overtime as the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Saturday night.
David Pastrnak, with a goal and two assists, Trent Frederic and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored for Boston (16-4-3). Linus Ullmark made 37 saves for the Bruins, who have registered consecutive victories after dropping three straight in regulation.
Auston Matthews, with two, and Max Domi replied for Toronto (12-6-4). Joseph Woll stopped 33 shots.
Marchand’s winner came after William Nylander fell in the neutral zone. Pastrnak was denied on a breakaway by Woll, but the puck found its way back in front for the Boston captain to bury his eighth goal of the season.
Frederic put the Bruins ahead 3-2 at 13:10 of the third period when he poked home a rebound for his sixth after Derek Forbort took the initial shot.
Toronto tied it in the dying seconds of regulation when Matthews scored his second of the night, and 16th overall, off a pass from Mitch Marner before Marchand won it.
Woll made a breakaway stop on Pavel Zacha in OT and Ullmark denied Marner from in close to set up Marchand’s dramatic clincher.
The teams met for the first time since Boston’s 3-2 shootout victory Nov. 2 at TD Garden when Marchand and Toronto defenceman Timothy Liljegren were involved in a sequence that resulted in the latter suffering a high ankle sprain.
The Leafs held a team meeting following the incident — which went unpenalized and didn’t result in a suspension — with Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe telling reporters in the aftermath he “hated everything” about his team’s lack of a physical response with Liljegren, who hasn’t played since, down on the ice in obvious distress.
There wouldn’t, however, be any fireworks.
Boston opened the scoring at 10:45 of the first period when Pastrnak dashed over the Toronto blue line and rifled his 14th goal over Woll’s shoulder to become the first player to score 50 times in 2023.
Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves, who along with Marchand had the biggest scrums following the morning skates, took a boarding penalty on Matthew Poitras later in the period that his team killed off.
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Matthews hit the post early in the second before Pastrnak found a pinching Shattenkirk with a perfect diagonal pass in the offensive zone for the defenceman to roof his first with the Bruins at 7:31.
Toronto had a couple of good chances before Boston doubled its lead, but Matthews got the home side back within one at 12:06 when he scored his 15th with Ullmark out of position and Boston defenceman Charlie McAvoy trying to play goal on a scramble.
Domi, who’s father Tie was a Toronto fan favourite, then scored his first with the Leafs at 2:11 of the third after taking a pass from Nick Robertson and moving in all alone on the Boston goaltender.
Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov sat out with an illness. Martin Jones was recalled from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis to serve as Woll’s backup.
TAVARES CLOSING IN ON 1,000
The Leafs captain entered play with 995 career points, but just one over his last five games.
“Just trying to keep my head down and going to work,” Tavares said before the game. “No doubt a special milestone.”
Marchand was asked about life without Patrice Bergeron after the former Bruins captain retired in the summer.
“Lonely,” Marchand quipped. “We spent a lot of time together … it’s different.”
Boston visits Columbus on Sunday, while Toronto is off until Thursday’s game in Ottawa.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2023.
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&© 2023 The Canadian Press
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