Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Toronto Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff elimination.
Connor Brown and Andreas Johnsson each scored his first career playoff goal in the first period, and the Maple Leafs took a 4-1 lead to chase Tuukka Rask in the second. Toronto also led 4-1 in Game 7 of the teams’ 2013 playoff series before the Bruins won in overtime en route to their second Stanley Cup final berth in two years.
This time, Boston cut the deficit to one goal but the Leafs held on.
Frederik Andersen stopped 42 shots for Toronto, which returns home for Game 6 on Monday. Game 7 would be back in Boston on Wednesday, if necessary.
Jake DeBrusk and Sean Kuraly scored for the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron returned to the ice after missing one game with an undisclosed injury but not to the scoresheet; his line, which had 20 points in the first two games, was held without a goal or assist.
Rask was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots before skipping off to the locker room when he was pulled with 8:05 left in the second. Anton Khudobin, making his first career playoff appearance, stopped all eight shots he saw the rest of the way.
Toronto lost the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Boston by a combined score of 12-4, then won the third game at home before dropping the fourth to fall to the brink of elimination. The Maple Leafs also fell behind 3-1 in 2013 before back-to-back victories that forced a seventh game.
This time, they’re hoping they can get that far.
Leading 4-1 midway through the game, they then gave Boston four straight power plays — putting four players in the penalty box at one point — but killed each one off. Kuraly made it a two-goal game with about three minutes left in the second and Noel Acciari made it 4-3 six minutes into the third.
Notes: Bergeron’s absence from Game 4 was a surprise, and his upper body injury remains a mystery. He skated on the off-day Friday and again on Saturday morning and was then cleared to play. … Grzelcyk had his first playoff point, and Acciari recorded his first playoff assist. … Khudobin made his NHL debut in 2010 but has been a backup since then and never saw the ice in a playoff game. … The game ended with fisticuffs in the corner. Bozak and Boston’s David Backes were in the middle.
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