Marner star of the show as Maple Leafs Beat Boston Bruins 4-2
On a night when Patrick Marleau celebrated his 1,600th NHL game, Mitch Marner did what he does best — make goals.
The 21-year-old winger had three assists in Toronto’s 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday. Two were primary assists, upping his NHL-best total to 24 (he has 27 assists in all). It was the 10th multi-assist game of the season for Marner, who also has six goals.
Each team scored twice in a frenetic second period that saw Boston out shoot Toronto 18-9. With the Leafs leading 3-2 going into the third, Boston’s Danton Heinen hit the goalpost. However the Bruins could not breach the Leaf defense.
Zach Hyman added an empty-net goal with 1:35 remaining to seal the deal.
Travis Dermott, Igor Ozhiganov and Josh Leivo also scored for Toronto (17-8-0). It was Ozhiganov’s first career NHL goal and the second for Dermott.
David Pastrnak, who had a hat trick in a 5-1 win over Toronto on Nov. 10, scored twice for Boston (13-7-4).
The Bruins lost Kevan Miller late in the first period after the defense-man took a puck to the throat following a John Tavares shot.
This was both teams’ fourth game in six nights.
Bruins had been high on confidence following a 3-2 win in Montreal on Saturday night. This was also their second consecutive win, and third win in four games. The Leafs were also high on confidence as they were coming off a 6-0 win over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Maleau is the 11th NHL player to reach the 1,600 regular-season game milestone. Marleau has missed just 31 games over 21 seasons since making his NHL debut on Oct. 1, 1997.
“He is a great great human being,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said prior to the game.
“A hard worker, great pro, great person,” he added. “He’s so important for this team it’s not even funny and I’m not even talking about what he does on the ice. He’s fantastic.”
Marleau got a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Arena crowd after a video tribute in the first period.
Bruins David Backes had an excellent chance early on but his shot clipped the top of the crossbar. Hyman needed some early repair work after Miller’s stick came apart and a piece hit Hyman in the face.
Nazem Kadri hit the goalpost for the Leafs with a backhand, after being put in alone by a Dermott stretch pass. Boston’s Colby Cave hit the Toronto crossbar soon after with a shot through traffic.
Dermott finally beat Jaroslav Halak with a shot through traffic at 17:44 for his first of the season. This after the Bruins top line couldn’t clear the puck.
Boston, gaining momentum, out shot Toronto 10-0 to open the second period before the Maple Leafs put up a shot midway through the period. Pastrnak, off a feed from Brad Marchand, tied it up on the power play at 3:39
The Bruins hit another goalpost on the power play later in the second period. Seconds later, with the penalty over, a freewheeling Marner found Ozhiganov cruising in from the point and his shot banked in off a Boston body at 13:06.
Pastrnak tied it up at 14:22, taking a nifty Torey Krug pass to the side of the net before slotting it past Frederik Andersen, taking his tally for the season to 19.
Leivo put the Leafs 3-2 ahead on the power play at 18:38, banging home a Tyler Ennis rebound after a Marner rush.
The Leafs were again without Auston Matthews. While restricted free agent William Nylander also remains unsigned.
The San Jose Sharks travel to Toronto on Wednesday to take on the Maple Leafs.