Pavel Zacha scores twice as Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-2

Feb 1, 2023, 5:53 AM | Updated: 9:16 pm

Boston Bruins' Pavel Zacha (not shown) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35)...

Boston Bruins' Pavel Zacha (not shown) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb.1, 2023 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs feel like they can keep up with the NHL-leading Boston Bruins. They just need to do it for three consecutive periods.

Pavel Zacha scored twice in the third as Boston surged past the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Wednesday. After a scoreless first period, Toronto trailed 2-1 at the second intermission before the Bruins blew the game open.

“I thought we were with them nearly the whole way,” said Leafs forward Mitchell Marner, who had a power-play goal in the second. “Just in the third, I don’t know if I’d call it cheating but we were pushing hard and gave up a couple of odd-man chances and it cost us.”

Derek Forbort and Brandon Carlo both had goals in the second period as Boston snapped a three-game winless skid. A.J. Greer also scored in the final period and Linus Ullmark made 33 saves.

Of the four Bruins scorers, only Zacha has double digits in goals this season, with his two on Wednesday lifting him to 11. Carlo said it’s important for Boston to count on its depth players for offense, too.

“We all want to contribute in that aspect when we can,” said Carlo, who has two goals on the season. “It’s great when you do get the result from it. I think it gives the rest of the guys a boost as well.

“We want to be a great support system to the guys who are scoring all the time and occasionally do our part, too.”

Marner scored on the power play, his 19th goal of the season, for Toronto. Calle Jarnkrok had a goal in the third to keep the Maple Leafs in the game. Ilya Samsonov stopped 24 shots in his eighth consecutive game in net for Toronto.

Forbort snapped home a short-handed goal 6:57 into the second.

Marner replied on the power play 2:28 later. After a long leading pass off the boards from Samsonov, Marner skated through the left faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Ullmark to tie it at 1.

Carlo reestablished Boston’s one-goal lead a little over three minutes later, taking a pass from Hampus Lindholm and deflecting it past Samsonov from a wide angle.

Zacha’s second goal of the night came at 12:19 of the third. Standing just a few feet from Samsonov’s crease, he dropped to a knee to one-time a pass from David Krejci into the net.

“I think that line is very dynamic,” said Bruins coach Jim Montgomery. “It’s one of the most creative lines in the league.

“(Zacha’s) a little bit of a glue guy that has to do a lot of the dirty work, so to speak, drive the middle lane, be the first guy on the forecheck, first guy in the back check.”


John Tavares celebrated his 1,000th game in the NHL on Sunday with two assists in Toronto’s 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Timothy Liljegren decided to have a little fun at his captain’s expense after the game, awarding the team’s MVP belt to Mark Giordano instead of Tavares. Giordano said on Wednesday he had intended to give a long speech to really rub salt in Tavares’ wound but when he looked around the room he knew he had to give the belt to its proper recipient.

“The joke got a few guys and they were already pretty upset that we didn’t give it to John so I had to turn it over pretty quick,” laughed Giordano.


Bruins: After All-Star break, host the Washington Capitals on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Maple Leafs: After All-Star break, at Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, Feb. 10.


AP NHL: www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Pavel Zacha scores twice as Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-2