(Photo Credit: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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

The Boston Bruins lost game two of round one, 3-2, to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night. It was a close, back-and-forth game that featured plenty of action. Toronto had a slight edge in the final period, which ultimately earned them a victory.  Head coach Jim Montgomery talked about his team’s performance after the game. “I didn’t think our urgency was where it needed to be to prevail tonight.”

Despite a spectacular performance from Linus Ullmark, who made several amazing saves, the Boston offense could only score twice in the opening period. Defenseman Andrew Peke left the game and did not return; something to keep an eye on. The series will move to Toronto for a pivotal game three on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

First Period

The Bruins set the tone right out of the gate with two big hits by Charlie McAvoy on the opening shift. Boston slightly controlled the game more in the first half of the opening frame, generating a couple of solid opportunities, but could not find the back of the net. They relied heavily on the low-to-high game to create offense and registered several shots for the point. The Bruins had the game’s first power play after Jake McCabe took a post-whistle cross-checking penalty.

Boston capitalized and took a 1-0 lead on a back-door goal by Morgan Geekie, set up by Brad Marchand. However, just 0:14 seconds later, Toronto tied the game 1-1 when Max Domi knocked in a loose rebound on the doorstep. After receiving their first power play, Toronto then looked to take the first lead of the series. The Bruins’ penalty killers did their job and got a couple of big saves from Linus Ullmark, and the Leafs were unsuccessful.

With 0:13 left to play in the first period, the Black and Gold had an offensive zone face-off, and they took advantage. David Pastrnak gave his team a 2-1 lead, blasting a one-timer past Ilya Samsonov on a great feed by Pavel Zacha. The goal came with just 0:07 left in the period. The Leafs had the shots on goal advantage 14-10, and Ullmark made 13 saves.

Second Period

There was plenty of up-and-down ice hockey to kick off the second. The Bruins created multiple looks off the rush, having several opportunities to extend their lead, but couldn’t beat Samsonov. Jesper Boqvist and Danton Heinen both had golden chances but weren’t able to finish. With 7:59 left in the middle frame, the Bruins were called for a bench minor; there were too many men on the ice. Toronto pushed the envelope and had all sorts of pressure, but Boston survived it and got a miraculous glove save from Ullmark against the post-robbing Calle Jarnkrok.

The netminder touched on the save following the game. “I knew it wasn’t in. It all happened so fast, but I was pretty sure the puck wasn’t all the way in.” The Leafs appeared to tie the game 2-2 after Tyler Bertuzzi scored on the power play, but the goal was overturned due to the puck being batted in with a high stick. Toronto eventually tied the game on the same man advantage when John Tavares wheeled a shot past Ullmark from the faceoff circle to make it a 2-2 game. The Leafs led again in shots on goal 13-9.

Third Period

At the start of the period, the Bruins had a phenomenal chance on a back-door setup, but Samsonov went from left to right to make a dazzling save on Brad Marchand. Ryan Reaves was called for holding, and it seemed as if Boston was heading to the power play, but their second too many men on the ice penalty canceled that out, and the two teams played four-on-four. There were a couple of chances both ways on the sequence, but neither team scored.

Brandon Carlo got a huge rise out of the crowd after he leveled Matthew Knies into the corner glass. But Toronto took a 3-2 lead with just over 7:00 remaining after Auston Matthews caught a puck out of mid-air, got behind McAvoy for a breakaway, and finished off a forehand to backhand move. Boston had a power play opportunity to tie the game but couldn’t get in sync and couldn’t cash in. After a few opportunities with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the Bruins came up short and couldn’t score before time expired.