Quick! Leafs fans! How many regular season points did Phil Kessel have last night before the game against his old team? If you answered 498, you did well. Starting on a line with Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak, the Leafs winger needed two points to put him in the 500 club.
Windsor - January 1, 2015 - Quick! Leafs fans! How many regular season points did Phil Kessel have last night before the game against his old team? If you answered 498, you did well. Starting on a line with Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak, the Leafs winger needed two points to put him in the 500 club. Bozak, Lupul and Kessel have 46 goals between them this season, and Kessel would add one more to the total tonight. But more about that later.
Leafs forward Leo Komarov returned to the line-up after missing fourteen games with a concussion, and didn’t show any signs of rust as he opened the scoring at 10:22 of the first period. Later in the first, Kessel was awarded a penalty shot but was stopped by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. The period ended with the Leafs leading 1-0.
In the second frame, the teams scored five goals between them. Carl Soderberg tied the game seventeen seconds in, with his eighth goal of the season. A mere thirty-one seconds later Kessel notched his 200th assist as a Leaf when he fired a beautiful pass to James van Riemsdyk, who scored his seventeenth of the campaign. Kessel wasn’t finished there, and at 9:45 he scored a beauty of a goal, putting the Buds up 3-1, (and yep, his 500th NHL regular season point).
Boston goals by David Krejci and Torey Krug tied the game 3-3, and after a scoreless third where Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was brilliant, the teams went to overtime, which ended without a goal.
In the shootout, Mike Santorelli and Krug exchanged goals, and it wasn’t until the fifth round that the Leafs would prevail on a score by Nazem Kadri, who capped a great December with the winner. The Leafs outshot the Bruins 28-21, and continue their current road trip on Friday night with a game in Minnesota.
Congrats on your milestone, Phil. Happy New Year to you, and all of Leafs Nation.