Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/2/13
BOSTON — Phil Kessel was on the ice for 13:51 in Game 1 against the Bruins on Wednesday night, but we only know that because it’s what the statsheet tells us, as well as the fact that No. 81 in white was booed and heckled every time he touched the puck. The Maple Leafs forward was pretty much invisible in Game 1, a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden. Admittedly, Kessel did make a nice play on the lone Leafs goal during an early power play, but after that, he went back into his shell. The former Bruins forward went missing after that, and he didn’t register his only shot on goal of the game until 2:16 of the third period. In a somewhat surprising turn of events for Kessel when playing against Boston, he wasn’t on the ice for any of the four Bruins goals. He’s still a minus-22 in 23 career games against the B’s, with just three goals (all power-play tallies) and six assists. Kessel was his usual indifferent self after the game. “It was all right,” Kessel said when asked about his own game. “We didn’t create that much. We have to do better.” Bruins coach Claude Julien appeared to make it a point to utilize the second change as the home team to match up the Patrice Bergeron line against Kessel’s line, in addition to getting the defensive pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the ice as well. Chara certainly had an eye on Kessel all night and made his presence known throughout the game, ranging from a big hit early in the first to a “Hey, don’t forget about  me” cross-check as a post-whistle scrum broke up in the third period. “Like with every offensive guy that’s really skilled, that’s got speed, you want to be tight on them,” Seidenberg explained. “You want to have a good gap and don’t want to give them a lot of room to get speed, so the forwards doing a good job putting back pressure on him and the defensemen just stayed really tight on him for him not to get any room to make plays.” It’s no secret that slowing down the Kessel line will be one of the major keys to winning the series for the Bruins. Kessel led the team with 20 goals this season, and along with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak, that top-line trio combined to score 50 goals this year. Van Riemsdyk scored the only Toronto goal in Game 1.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, No. 7 pick

Top 10 takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft

John Calipari thinks the one-and-done system is working just fine

Luke Walton responds to LaVar Ball saying Lonzo will lead Lakers to playoffs

Report: Spurs, Cavs trade talks now include LaMarcus Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball says ‘Zeus and Jesus’ told him Lonzo would go to Lakers

Cavs are reportedly talking about a trade for Danny Green with Spurs

Kings reportedly showing major interest in Andre Drummond

WATCH: George Springer exits game after HBP

Chiefs part ways with GM John Dorsey

Oilers, Islanders swap Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Box Score 6/22: Emotion-filled Knight for Pens fans, Preds fans... and Knicks fans

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker