The return of Andrew Ference should help, although no one blamed the loss on his absence.
The defenseman who plays in Boston’s second pairing was suspended for Saturday’s game for elbowing Mikhail Grabovski in the head in Game 1.
“We had different partners as the year went on,” defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. “We do have chemistry with each other no matter who you’re playing with. You’ve just got to talk a lot and talk loud and be the eyes for your partner when he’s going back for the puck.”
No one was back far enough when Kessel got behind the defense and took a pass from Nazem Kadri. The former Bruin who has been jeered on his visits to Boston since he was traded to Toronto in September 2009 shot the puck between Tuukka Rask’s pads for a 3-1 lead 53 seconds into the third period.
It was just his fourth goal in 24 career games against Boston and only the first at even strength.
“It was nice to get one,” Kessel said, “but we’ve just got to keep going.”