The post Surprise in Beantown: Maple Leafs Win 3-2 Over Bruins appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

For history buffs, Boston’s nickname “Beantown” originated with the city’s historical association with baked beans. Because Boston was a major port city in the American colonies, it had access to literally tons of molasses, a key ingredient in making baked beans. The dish became a staple in Boston’s cuisine and the nickname is still used to refer to the city.

In more recent history, the surprise in Beantown was the Toronto Maple Leafs actually beat the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the team’s first-round series. It was the first time the Maple Leafs have won a game against the Bruins this season.

Related: Don’t Forget Martin Jones’ Part in the Maple Leafs Success

Once Again the Bruins Scored the First Goal

The game started with the Bruins taking an early lead on a power-play goal by Morgan Geekie. Once again, the Maple Leafs’ zealous physical engagement got the best of them when Toronto’s Jake McCabe took a cross-checking penalty. The Bruins quickly capitalized on the penalty.

However, the Maple Leafs responded swiftly. Max Domi scored off a rebound, tying the game just 14 seconds later. While the Maple Leafs kept pace with the Bruins, very late in the first period, Boston surprisingly regained the lead with David Pastrnak‘s goal, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.

Max Domi Maple Leafs

At that point, many fans thought the Maple Leafs would fold. They did not. Instead, they played the Bruins even in the second period. Then, after a penalty on Matt Grzelcyk, John Tavares buried a wrist shot past Linus Ullmark, knotting the game at 2-2.

In the Third Period, Auston Matthews Scored on an Amazing Play

The game remained deadlocked until midway through the third period when Auston Matthews took a brilliant alley-oop pass from Max Domi. Skating in alone on Bruins’ goalie Linus Ullmark, Matthews deked beautifully to score the game-winning goal.

After taking the lead, the Maple Leafs tightened defensively, with goaltender Ilya Samsonov making critical saves down the stretch. Toronto’s penalty kill also came up big, successfully killing off a late Bruins power play. Instead of folding, the Maple Leafs’ disciplined play and timely scoring helped them take hom the win and even the series at 1-1. They now head back to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 with home-ice advantage.

Three Takeaways from the Maple Leafs Victory

There were three key takeaways from the Maple Leafs’ win. First, Matthews was the catalyst for his team’s success. He contributed to all three goals with one goal and two assists. His offensive power, physicality, and dominance in the faceoff circle (69.6% win rate) exemplified his impact on the game.

Auston Matthews scores Maple Leafs

Second, goalie Ilya Samsonov’s play in the net was crucial for the Maple Leafs. He matched Ullmark’s efforts and made several critical saves to keep Toronto in the game. His exceptional play was instrumental in securing the win and evening the series.

Third, both Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi, who were acquired exactly for these kinds of games, delivered in Game 2. Domi scored a crucial goal and assisted on Matthews’ game-winner. Meanwhile, Bertuzzi’s physical presence and offensive contributions significantly influenced the Maple Leafs’ victory.

Other Notable Maple Leafs Performances

In other notable performances, the Maple Leafs’ success on special teams was huge. The team scored a late power-play goal to tie the game and effectively killed off a crucial Bruins power play in the third period. As well, the Maple Leafs outplayed the Bruins at even strength. They lead in Shot Attempts, Scoring Chances, and High-Danger Scoring Chances over the first two games.

After being critiqued over the past few postseasons for their lack of physicality, in this series the Maple Leafs are hammering the Bruins. Players like Joel Edmundson, Ryan Reaves, and even Matthews have shown Toronto’s commitment to physical play. They’ve matched the Bruins hit for hit and contributed to a solid defensive effort.

With the series tied, the Maple Leafs return to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 with renewed confidence. The focus will be on continuing their strong 5-on-5 play, leveraging their special teams success, and (hopefully) bringing William Nylander back into the lineup for added offensive depth.

Game 2’s victory sets the stage for an exciting home-ice advantage as Toronto aims to take control of the series against the Bruins.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Struggle in 5-1 Game 1 Loss to Bruins

The post Surprise in Beantown: Maple Leafs Win 3-2 Over Bruins appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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