TORONTO — Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Boston 2-1 on Saturday night to end the Bruins’ seven-game winning streak.
Mitch Marner had two assists for Toronto (6-4-2). Ilya Samsonov made 13 saves before exiting the game after two thirds with a knee injury.
Erik Kallgren stopped seven shots for the Leafs the rest of the way.
Brad Marchand answered for Boston (10-2-0) after a penalty in the second period. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves for the Bruins, who started as the top team in the NHL based on point percentage.
Matthews, who led the league with 60 goals en route to his first Hart Trophy as MVP last season, hit the back of the net just once in his first seven games of the 2022-23 season but now has five in his last five competitions.
The Sharpshooter broke a 1-1 tie at 14:07 of the second period with his second of the evening with a simple tap-in on the edge of Ullmark’s crease for his sixth of the campaign after a great individual performance from William Nylander on a power play.
Kallgren, the Leafs’ No. 3 option with Matt Murray (groin/hijacker) on long-term injured reserve, replaced Samsonov to start the third and after Toronto failed to get two man-advantage opportunities, he was saved his post on a shot by David Pastrnak.
The Leafs then killed two Boston power plays with desperate defense that continued late with Ullmark on the bench for an additional attacker.
After Wednesday’s win over Philadelphia that broke an ugly four-game slip and gave some relief to pressured head coach Sheldon Keefe, the Leafs opened the opening goal 7-19 when Matthews fooled Ullmark after the Bruins goaltender lost had trail of the puck behind his net.
Toronto captain John Tavares, who had a hat-trick on Wednesday, shot off the bar early in the second game before delivering a penalty that led Boston to level.
After the Leafs lost a man to the NHL’s highest-scoring team, TJ stumbled Brodie Marchand with a breakaway to set up the winger’s nifty Deke, who had completely fooled Samsonov, to level the game for the Bruins.
Marchand’s fourth goal in four games from the start of the season at LTIR was the 800th point of his career, making him the seventh player in franchise history to reach that milestone.
The 34-year-old tied Mario Lemieux for second all-time, too, with his sixth successful penalty, adrift of Pavel Bure’s record of seven.
Denis Malgin then hit Toronto’s second post of the period before Matthews put the home side in front for good.
BRUINS RESPONDING TO MILLER
A day after Boston signed controversial defenseman Mitchell Miller, who Arizona stripped of his drafting rights in 2020 for bullying a developmentally disabled black classmate when the player was 14, some of the Bruins’ leaders were asked about the move .
Patrice Bergeron said general manager Don Sweeney raised the possibility of adding Miller to the organization with him last week, and Boston’s captain made it clear he had concerns.
“The culture that we’ve built here contradicts that kind of behavior,” the 37-year-old said after skating on Saturday morning. “This dressing room is all about inclusion, diversity and respect.”
The Bruins said they approved the deal with Miller after several weeks of evaluation. The 20-year-old said Friday he will continue to participate in community programs to educate himself and share the story of his mistakes.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters in Finland ahead of the Colorado-Columbus game there that Miller is currently ineligible to play in the league — and may never be.
Boston forward Nick Foligno called the signing “hard to swallow” in the locker room.
“Hard to hear for our group,” he said. “I won’t lie to you.
“I don’t think any guy was too lucky.”
The Leafs lost Nicolas Aube-Kubel to the Washington Capitals on waivers.
The 26-year-old winger signed with Colorado in the summer after winning the Stanley Cup but never found his footing in Toronto.
Aube-Kubel didn’t record a point in six games for the Leafs.
Leaves: Visit Carolina on Sunday.
Bruins: host St. Louis on Monday.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 5, 2022.
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