(Photo Credit: Steven Senne / Associated Press)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue

The Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time this week 4-1, but this time at TD Garden on Thursday night. The 2011 Bruins were in the building just before puck drop, and former captain Zedano Chara Chara came out with the Stanley Cup, which drew a thunderous ovation from the TD Garden crowd. Captain Brad Marchand talked about what it meant in his post-game availability. “It was pretty cool to see. It was a great surprise to see the Cup with the guys. I’m sure they were having a great night, and I enjoyed every second of it.”

The Bruins’ physicality was front and center as they imposed their will against the Leafs all night. Head coach Jim Montgomery touched on it after the win.  “I thought we were really physical to start the game, and I thought we were finishing checks. I liked our physicality. Theirs was a little too little.” The win completed a season series sweep of their rivals from up North.

First Period

The Leafs generated the first amount of accumulated offensive zone of the game but couldn’t get a shot on the net. The Bruins answered with some zone time of their own and had a great chance down low by Danton Heinen, but Joseph Woll robbed him. Boston would receive the game’s first power play, and it was a 2:00 five-on-three after Jake McCabe was called for interference and Matthew Knies was called for roughing in the same sequence.

The Bruins cashed in with David Pastrnak scoring his first power-play goal since January, giving his team a 1-0 lead. After the ensuing face-off, Boston almost got another one after the puck took a weird bounce off the glass and almost snuck past Joseph Woll. Physicality emphasized the opening frame, which was highlighted by a big hit from Charlie Coyle on Timothy Liljergren against the end boards.

The Bruins created two really good opportunities, first on a Morgan Geekie feed to Trent Frederic going to the net, but it didn’t fully connect. Then Mason Lohrei made a great move and was able to set up Justin Brazeau, but Woll stoned him. The Leafs were called for too many men in the final two minutes, and the penalty was carried over to the second period. Boston had the shots on goal edge 10-7, and Swayman stopped everything.

Second Period

To start the period, the Bruins had just under a minute of power play time remaining on the too-many-men call, but Toronto killed it off. The Leafs had a strong push controlling the possession for the next few minutes, but a William Nylander turnover at the blue line cost them. Trent Frederic scooped up the loose puck and had a breakaway in on Woll, beating him five-hole to make it 2-0. The goal was Frederic’s 17th of the season, matching his career high, which he posted last year.

Toronto cut the lead in half, taking advantage of Coyle being called for a double minor. Boston killed off the first one, but Mitch Marner beat Swayman on a bullet coming down the right wing, which made it 2-1. There were a bunch of post-whistle scrums, including one that led to Parker Wotherspoon dropping the gloves with Tyler Bertuzzi, and the two had a heated exchange. After David Pastrnak hit the post, it seemed as if the Bruins would have a power play. However, a post-whistle skirmish resulted in Geekie getting called for roughing, making it four-on-four.

During that sequence, John Tavares high-sticked Lohrei and received 2:00. After the four-on-four expired, Geekie stayed on the ice and buried a beautiful dish from Kevin Shattenkirk to regain a two-goal lead at 3-1. Just over a minute later, Brandon Carlo made it 4-1, throwing a shot from the point that cleanly beat Woll. It was a strong finish to the period for the Black and Gold, with Swayman sound again. The shots on goal were even at 12 a piece.

Third Period

Auston Matthews had a golden chance right off the bat, but he airmailed his shot wide. However, on the same rush, Charlie McAvoy was called for interference. It didn’t matter, though, as the Bruins killed off the penalty, not giving the Leafs much. After another crowd gathering in the corner, Swayman skated to the center ice redline and challenged Woll to a fight, but he did not oblige. Swayman was asked about it after the game and said, “I’ll never force something like that, but if it happens, it happens. It’s hockey.” Boston received a power-play due to Max Domi roughing Brad Marchand.

They didn’t capitalize on the man advantage, but they wore down the Leafs, firing on all cylinders. The Bruins continued to frustrate Toronto as they had a difficult time working the puck to the net. It seemed as if they may have gotten one back with under 6:00 to go, but it was waived off due to Bertuzzi kicking the puck into the net. One final scrum occurred when McAvoy and Domi took each other to the ice, and both were sent to their respective dressing rooms. Not much happened after that, as the Bruins shut things down and closed out a strong team win.

Up Next

Next, the Bruins will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. The puck drop will be at 3:00 p.m. and nationally televised on ABC. It will be the second of three meetings between the two teams. Pittsburgh won the first game 6-5.