The Toronto Maple Leafs may have a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs—as per Sports Club Stats—but they haven’t given up yet, as their determination led them to a 5-2 win over the visiting Boston Bruins.
Saturday’s game marked the first time that Tomas Kaberle first returned to Toronto after being traded to the Bruins back in February. A tribute video was played and the fans gave him a standing ovation.
The Leafs didn’t let the distraction of playing an ex-Leaf stop them from focussing on the game. Halfway into the first period, Luke Schenn scored his fourth of the season to put the Leafs up 1-0. The goal will definitely be shown on the highlight reel; Schenn muscled his way through half the team before deftly flicking the puck behind Tim Thomas.
A few minutes later, the Bruins tied up the game on a messy play by Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf took his eyes off the puck for a few seconds, which allowed Adam McQuaid’s throw to the net to bounce off of Phaneuf’s skate and into the net.
Kadri also scored in the first period, bringing the Leafs up by one again. This was Kadri’s first NHL goal, and he wasn’t sure it was going to be a goal at all—it had to be reviewed because of a potential high stick, but it was declared a goal in the end.
Toronto pulled ahead in the second period and never looked back. They scored three goals on 10 shots, with the scoring coming from Joey Crabb, Mike Brown, and Keith Aulie. Crabb and Brown’s goals came 29 seconds apart and blew the game wide open. Boston head coach Claude Julien pulled Thomas after Brown’s goal and put Tuukka Rask in net instead.
The Leafs’ goaltender James Reimer again had a great game—he made some amazing saves when it really mattered and kept this game from being closer. Especially notable was his stellar save on a breakaway attempt by Tyler Seguin in the opening of the second period, when the game was still 2-1 in favour of the Leafs.
The Leafs are still four points behind the Sabres—who have 78 points after their win over the Atlanta Thashers—and are two points behind Carolina.