It’s a shame that the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs met for the final time in the regular season Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena. But there’s always hope that these two teams will cross paths again come mid-April.
In a game filled with quality scoring chances, tight checking, odd-man rushes, and momentum swings, the Bruins earned a workmanlike 3-2 victory and moved to two points behind the Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.
“Obviously we were trying to play on our toes, and obviously they’re a good team too so that’s how they’re trying to play,” Sean Kuraly cheap nhl jerseys china said after the game. “We tried to keep them to the outside, and maybe [we gave up] a little more chances to them then we would’ve liked, but that’s the way it goes versus a good team.”
‘WAK’ line takes center stage
It’s rare to see a de facto fourth line face off against elite talent, but Bruce Cassidy went down that route over the past two games, with Chris Wagner, Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly. The confidence from the checking-line trio was already high entering Thursday’s tilt with Washington where they held their own against the Capitals’ top scoring line of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson.
Wagner, Acciari and Kuraly faced another formidable trio featuring William Nylander, Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri on Saturday. They may have faltered a bit during the middle stretches of the first and second periods, but, in true blue-collar fashion, the “WAK” line gave the Bruins a spark when they absolutely needed it, especially Kuraly.
The former Miami (Ohio) product stayed focused on his puck pursuit en route to a career-high three-point performance that including the tying goal and an assist on David Pastrnak’s game-winner.
“They deserve every point they get on the stat sheet,” Pastrnak said about Wagner, Kuraly and Acciari. “They work really hard for each other and have been playing really well together, so I’m really happy for them.”
The Bruins rarely got that secondary scoring spark during the first half of the season. Over the past few weeks, the “WAK” line is giving the Bruins that scoring plug outside of Boston’s potent top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand.
“I think that whole line has been playing great for a couple of months now, and they’re really getting rewarded now, so it’s great to see” goaltender Tuukka Rask said. “They work extremely hard every game and every day, and I think we’re just happy for them to get the reward they deserve.”