TOR
38-36-8
BOS
54-19-9

26 SOG
41 SOG

Bernier, Maple Leafs top Bruins

Matt Kalman  - NHL.com Correspondent | Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 11:29 PM

BOSTON -- Two nights after a slump-busting home win against the New Jersey Devils, the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off the kind of road win that could help make their recent struggles a distant memory.

Tyler Bozak scored twice to go with an assist, Phil Kessel had three assists, and Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves in the Maple Leafs' 4-3 win against the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

Bernier faced 41 shots as Toronto beat Boston for the first time this season; they had not beaten the Bruins since Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Toronto hung on despite getting outshot 15-6 and getting pinned in for much of the final 75 seconds of regulation with the Bruins' goaltender pulled.

The victory came with a valuable lesson for the Maple Leafs.

"Sometimes we let leads slip away. And it was close there," Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner said. "Just the fact that we know we can protect leads, and even if they're coming at us with all their guns, but we showed some good things late in the third."

The Maple Leafs (23-20-5) snapped a four-game losing streak when they beat the Devils on Sunday in a shootout. They last won in regulation Dec. 29 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Even dating back to a 3-2 loss against the Washington Capitals last week, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said his team is starting to play more the way he wants it to.

"Well, they're better efforts, that's for sure," Carlyle said. "And we've raised our compete level. And we're going to have to continue to do that to get points. And that's the most frustrating part for our hockey club has been that we haven't been able to achieve that with any consistency for [48] games. And that's frustrating for the coaching staff, that's for sure."

Tuukka Rask made 22 saves on 26 shots for the Bruins (29-15-2), who had one regulation loss in their prior 18 home games. Boston's recent three-game California road trip ended with a win against the San Jose Sharks after losses to the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

"Well, I mean it [stinks] right now losing tonight. That never feels good after a loss," Bruins forward Jarome Iginla said. "You know at times, we did some really good things. But unfortunately, we had some breakdowns and stuff and we lost a close game. Guys were trying to build back kind of a winning streak again, and we had a good game in San Jose. Today wasn't as good. We get back at it against [the Dallas Stars on Thursday], and we try to start there again. But I don't think there's anyone feeling sorry for ourselves. And I don't believe we can [feel sorry for ourselves]. It's just a tough stretch."

It took the Bruins 3:38 to grab the lead. Reilly Smith made a move to the middle of the ice in front of the Toronto net, getting off a backhand shot around Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson on Bernier from between the hash marks. The rebound deflected to Brad Marchand left of the slot for the rebound shot and a 1-0 Boston lead.

Bozak's first of two goals in the first period tied the game for the Maple Leafs at 5:52. After an icing, Bozak beat Gregory Campbell clean on a faceoff and Kessel set up Gunnarsson for a one-timer from the blue line. Bozak scored on the rebound.

The Bruins jumped back in front when Patrice Bergeron shocked Bernier with a spinning backhand wraparound shot that snuck in the short side at 10:48 for a 2-1 lead. But Bozak again tied it, this time on a power play. James van Riemsdyk found a loose puck in front and fed a cross-ice pass past Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk for a Bozak one-timer to make it 2-2 at 12:47.

Toronto's power play cashed in for the second time at 7:09 of the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead. Kessel's quick cross-ice pass found Jake Gardiner at the right dot. The defenseman stopped the puck, then whizzed a wrist shot past Rask's glove side, with the goaltender getting a piece of the shot but not enough as Toronto took a 3-2 lead.

Toronto finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage, and blanked Boston on its three power-play chances. The Bruins' penalty kill has allowed six goals in the past four games.

"Yeah, too many breakdowns," Bergeron said. "But also I think we are forcing plays that we shouldn't and sometimes we're not in sync, we're not forcing where all guys go as a whole and together. And obviously, when there's only one guy going, that opens up too many lanes and they're going to eat you alive if you do that, then if you don't, if you aren't on the same page.

Early in the third period, the Maple Leafs extended their lead to two goals. Nikolai Kulemin gained the Boston zone with little resistance and dished off to van Riemsdyk, whose wrist shot from the top of the right circle ticked off Chara's stick and beat Rask for a 4-2 lead with 1:00 elapsed.

Campbell pulled the Bruins back within one with a backhand goal from in front at 9:35 of the third after Daniel Paille stole a Gardiner pass behind the net and bumped the puck out to Campbell.

The Bruins fired 15 shots on goal in the third period, including several in the waning moments, but came up one goal short. Although the Bruins and Maple Leafs played two times prior this season, the memory of the Maple Leafs' collapse with a three-goal lead in the third period of Game 7 of last year's playoff series is still fresh for many. That didn't alter Bozak's confidence as his team tried to hang on for the win.

"Not for me, personally. I was confident that we were going to be able to get the job done," Bozak said. "Obviously, it wasn't as pretty as it could have been, but the most important thing is that we did get it done."

Toronto will be back home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. The Bruins play in Dallas before heading north to play the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday afternoon.

1st2nd3rdT
TOR
BOS
Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:38BOS Brad Marchand (11) Snap shot - ASST: Reilly Smith (18), Patrice Bergeron (16) 1 - 0 BOS
05:52TOR Tyler Bozak (8) Snap shot - ASST: Carl Gunnarsson (6), Phil Kessel (22) 1 - 1 Tie
10:48BOS Patrice Bergeron (11) Wrap-around - ASST: Zdeno Chara (10), Brad Marchand (12) 2 - 1 BOS
12:47TOR PPG - Tyler Bozak (9) Wrist shot - ASST: James van Riemsdyk (18), Phil Kessel (23) 2 - 2 Tie
2nd Period
07:09TOR PPG - Jake Gardiner (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Phil Kessel (24), Dion Phaneuf (14) 3 - 2 TOR
3rd Period
01:00TOR James van Riemsdyk (18) Snap shot - ASST: Tyler Bozak (13), Joffrey Lupul (11) 4 - 2 TOR
09:35BOS Gregory Campbell (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Daniel Paille (4) 4 - 3 TOR
Three Stars of the Game
Tyler Bozak
1st
Tyler Bozak
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 23:36
Patrice Bergeron
2nd
Patrice Bergeron
C
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 18:52
Jonathan Bernier
3rd
Jonathan Bernier
SA: 41TOI: 60:00
GA: 3EV: 28-31
PIM: 0PP: 6-6
SV%: .927SH: 4-4
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:03BOS Shawn Thornton  Fighting (maj) against  Frazer McLaren
03:03TOR Frazer McLaren  Fighting (maj) against  Shawn Thornton
11:57BOS Carl Soderberg  Hooking against  Peter Holland
2nd Period
01:37TOR James van Riemsdyk  Tripping against  Brad Marchand
05:50BOS Adam McQuaid  Tripping against  Tyler Bozak
08:07TOR Tim Gleason  Tripping against  Jarome Iginla
13:29BOS Ryan Spooner  Holding against  Nazem Kadri
3rd Period
04:00BOS Zdeno Chara  Interference against  James van Riemsdyk
06:29TOR Carl Gunnarsson  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
12:07BOS Matt Bartkowski  Hooking against  Nazem Kadri
shots by period
PeriodTORBOS
1st715
2nd1311
3rd615
Total2641
Team Stats
CategoryTORBOS
Power Plays2/50/3
Hits2227
Faceoff Wins3437
Giveaways106
Takeaways35
Blocked Shots1910
Penalty Minutes1115
  • TORONTO
  • BOSTON
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3D. PhaneufD01-12025:29
4C. FransonD0001022:04
8T. GleasonD0011219:37
11J. McClementC0001011:51
12M. RaymondL0000017:24
19J. LupulL0101018:21
21J. van RiemsdykL1108223:34
24P. HollandC00-11010:26
36C. GunnarssonD01-11218:28
37C. AshtonR000004:34
38F. McLarenL000052:40
41N. KuleminL00-11015:38
42T. BozakC2103023:36
43N. KadriC0001013:00
44M. RiellyD0001015:11
51J. GardinerD10-11019:54
71D. ClarksonR00-12013:07
81P. KesselR0301019:06
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
45J. Bernier3841.92760:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
11G. CampbellC100209:29
12J. IginlaR00-24020:31
17M. LucicL00-13019:50
18R. SmithR0122016:58
20D. PailleL010206:51
21L. ErikssonR0001013:09
22S. ThorntonL001254:00
33Z. CharaD0114226:20
34C. SoderbergC0000211:29
37P. BergeronC1123018:52
43M. BartkowskiD0013217:04
46D. KrejciC00-10022:44
47T. KrugD00-13016:24
51R. SpoonerC0001214:16
54A. McQuaidD0002218:09
55J. BoychukD0024025:42
63B. MarchandL1124020:01
86K. MillerD00-11011:28
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
40T. Rask2226.84658:34