NHL Recaps: Bruins pound Leafs, and Hurricanes storm into All-Star Weekend
NHL Recaps: February 1, 2023
The NHL has officially entered the All-Star Break with all teams concluding play on Wednesday night. Two games were on tap as the top teams in the League came away with wins.
In Buffalo, the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes won their eight in a row and extended their points streak to 10 games by beating the Sabres. They currently lead the Metro Division by a 10 point margin over the second-place New Jersey Devils.
Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins incredible regular-season continues as they pounded the second-place Maple Leafs in Toronto. The victory gives the Bruins a 10 point lead in the Atlantic Division, and a seven point cushion for the Presidents’ Trophy from the surging Canes.
NHL Recaps: Bruins pound Leafs
Bruins 5 vs Maple Leafs 2
Pavel Zacha scored two third-period goals, and the visiting Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 Wednesday night.
“That was our focus before the game, we don’t want to go to the break with a loss especially having lost three in a row on a tough road trip,” Zacha said via NHL.com. “It was a full team effort today.”
Toronto had a 14-13 advantage in shots on goal after the first period, which ended scoreless. Ilya Samsonov made a handful of difficult saves through the first 20 minutes of action, including one on David Pastrnak late in the period. He also stopped Connor Clifton on a breakaway.
Derek Forbort scored his fourth goal of the season at 6:57 of the second period while Boston was short-handed. Trent Frederic kept the puck in the Toronto zone before Charlie Coyle made a backhand pass into the slot to Forbort for game’s first marker.
The Maple Leafs took advantage of their next power play when Mitch Marner scored his 19th goal of the season at 9:25 of the second. Samsonov caught the Boston penalty killers on a change with a long pass to Marner. It was the goaltender’s second assist of the season. Matt Grzelcyk was off for elbowing.
Boston regained the lead at 12:33 of the second on Brandon Carlo’s second goal of the season. Hampus Lindholm and Coyle recorded assists on the play.
Toronto led 23-21 in shots on goal after two periods.
A.J. Greer scored from the left circle at 2:13 of the third period for his fifth goal of the season, getting an assist from Jakub Lauko.
Immediately after the faceoff following the goal, Toronto’s Wayne Simmonds fought Greer with each receiving a major penalty.
Calle Jarnkrok scored his 12th goal at 8:38 of the third, shooting from the slot.
Zacha scored 30 seconds later on a 32-foot wrist shot before tacking on his 11th goal of the season with 7:41 left to play.
Linus Ullmark made 33 saves for Boston in the win.
NHL Recaps: Hurricanes storm into All-Star Weekend
Sebastian Aho scored in his sixth consecutive game to begin Carolina’s three-goal first period and the Hurricanes went on to beat the host Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Wednesday night.
“If I can score and help the team win that way, it’s nice,” said Aho, who has nine goals during his streak. “And it’s always nice to score, don’t get me wrong, I’d rather take this win streak over a goal streak. But yeah, obviously you try to produce in every game and obviously I play big minutes, so that’s my job as well.”NHL.com
Stefan Noesen, Brent Burns, Derek Stepan and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes, who have a seven-game winning streak and a 10-game points streak (9-0-1). Martinook’s goal was a short-handed tally into an empty net.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jalen Chatfield each had two assists, Noesen also had two points and Antti Raanta stopped 29 shots for Carolina, which leads the Metropolitan Division by eight points. The Hurricanes have 17 wins at home and 17 wins on the road.
It was the last game for each team prior to the All-Star break.
Alex Tuch scored in the first period for the Sabres, who saw their seven-game points streak (5-0-2) come to an end. The past five regulation defeats for Buffalo have come in home games. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 29 saves.
It turned out to be a remarkable weeklong stretch for the Hurricanes, who overcame a two-goal deficit in third period to beat the San Jose Sharks and then escaped a three-goal hole in the third period en route to a victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
In between those two overtime wins, Carolina knocked off the Boston Bruins, who are the only team in the NHL with more points than the Hurricanes.
–Field Level Media
–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article