TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a great start this season. However, they haven’t figured out a way to stop the Boston Bruins.
Tyler Seguin scored his first-career hat trick and Tim Thomas made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-0 Saturday night.
Boston beat Toronto 6-2 on Oct. 20 and Saturday was no different as the Bruins kept the Maple Leafs to the outside all night.
“That’s the second time that’s happened to us this year from this team. I don’t know what it is about them but we didn’t compete right from the opening puck drop,” Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said. “It was a pretty big game for us – the Stanley Cup champs coming in and they (beat us) every which way.”
Milan Lucic added two goals and an assist for Boston, while David Krejci had a goal and two assists. Shawn Thornton also scored and Patrice Bergeron added three assists as Boston seems to be finding its game after a sluggish start to the season.
Toronto was unable to mask some of the bad habits Leafs coach Ron Wilson saw in Thursday’s 4-1 win over Columbus.
“The way we were playing in the second and third period against Columbus is an indication of a team that’s going to let things get out of hand at some point,” Wilson said. “We were lucky in that game to have been up 4-0.
“It’s actually probably better for us to go through a game like this right now so that we can focus. If it had been 2-1 or 3-2 or 1-0 it would be ‘Oh we were just a shot away,’ but we weren’t anything close to that tonight.”
With starting goalie James Reimer still out with concussion-like symptoms, Ben Scrivens was unable to repeat his stellar NHL debut Thursday when he stopped 38-of-39 shots against the Blue Jackets. The Leafs rookie allowed five goals on 14 shots against the Bruins, who have won two in a row for the first time this season.
“It seemed like every chance they got wound up in the back of the net,” Scrivens said. “I got some fortunate bounces Thursday night in Columbus and it just didn’t go my way tonight.”
Scrivens was replaced by Jonas Gustavsson after the fifth Boston goal and apologized to his teammates on the way to the bench.
“I said ‘I’ve got to be better for you guys,”‘ Scrivens said. “At the end of the day, things are going to happen. It’s my job to try to bail my team out and I don’t think I did a great job of that tonight.”
Gustavsson finished with four saves and was jeered by the crowd in the third period after the seventh Boston goal.
The Bruins took control early in the second when Seguin and Lucic scored 8 seconds apart.
Seguin, who the Bruins drafted second overall with one of the picks acquired in the deal that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto, gave Boston a 2-0 lead just 34 seconds into the middle period when he batted a deflected pass from Bergeron past a helpless Scrivens.
Lucic stretched the Boston lead to three moments later off a great feed from Zdeno Chara.
Wilson used his timeout after the goal, but it did little to stem the Boston tide as the Bruins continued to dominate play.
Seguin, who took a big hit from Joey Crabb earlier in the period, completed his hat trick at 15:01 when he beat Scrivens with a snapshot shortside and Krejci made it 5-0 nothing just 14 seconds later off a feed from Lucic.
That was the end of a disappointing night for Scrivens, who flew in family and friends from Alberta to see his first home game with Toronto.
Lucic made it 6-0 off a pass from Krejci at 5:44 of the third and Thornton banged home his first of the season for Boston’s seventh 28 seconds later as boos rained down from the Air Canada Centre crowd.
Kessel has 10 goals and 11 assists on the season. He’s been held pointless just three times, including twice against Boston.
However, he was far from the only culprit on a night when very few Maple Leafs showed much willingness to get to the front of the net or pay the price.
“We made a lot of mistake tonight that are uncharacteristic of our team,” Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said. “You park this one in the loss column and you move forward. Are we happy about it? No. But we have to move forward as if we would have won tonight.”
The Bruins started the season 3-7-0 but beat Ottawa on Tuesday after back-to-back losses to Montreal and defeated another Northeast Division opponent in Toronto to get out of last place in the Eastern Conference.
Boston finished the night 1 for 2 on the power play, while Toronto was 0 for 3.