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Bruins beat Leafs 5-4, Leafs playoff hopes fade
The Toronto Maple Leafs were host to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night in search of a win to revive their playoff aspirations, but things didn't go their way. As has been the tradition in the past, the Bruins dominated the majority of the game, especially the second period. The Leafs would lose the game by a score of 5-4.
North York - March 7, 2012 - The Toronto Maple Leafs were host to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night in search of a win to revive their playoff aspirations, but things didn't go their way. As has been the tradition in the past, the Bruins dominated the majority of the game, especially the second period. The Leafs would lose the game by a score of 5-4.
Toronto scored first and stayed in the game early, as both teams bounced goals back and forth. The momentum began to seriously shift in Boston's direction late in the first period and continued in the second. A pair of quick goals from the Bruins in the second period was the turning point in this game. The Leafs would gain some momentum back in the third as Mikhail Grabovski, who just signed a 5-year contract extension, scored to cut the Bruins' lead in half. In the end though, some collapses in the Leafs defensive zone in the second period lost them the game.
Randy Carlyle mentioned earlier this week that each player will have a specific role on the team under his coaching. That was evident as Jay Rosehill was inserted back into the Leafs starting line-up and fought Shawn Thornton. Colby Armstrong and Tim Connolly also dropped the gloves, although Tim Connolly and Brad Marchand were only given minor roughing penalties for their short tussle.
More bad news came for the Leafs in terms of injuries. Toronto played half of the game with just three lines. Joffrey Lupul left the game early in the second period after being hit hard into the boards. The team is calling it an upper body injury. Colby Armstrong also left the game and didn't return after a fight between him and Dennis Seidenberg.
On the plus side, Toronto's goaltending was much better than it has been recently. Despite what the scoreboard may lead one to believe, Jonas Gustavsson played a solid game. He looked quiet and steady from the start of the game and maintained that throughout the game. His rebound control was as good as it's been in any game this season.
The loss tonight all but puts their playoff hopes to rest. Toronto heads into Pittsburgh tomorrow to play the Penguins. Then they will return home on Saturday to face the Flyers before heading into Washington on Sunday.
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