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Bergeron lifts Bruins in shootout
Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron, left, celebrates his game-winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammate Dougie Hamilton during the third period of their game at TD Garden in Boston on Monday night. (REUTERS)
The victory, coming on the heels of a 1-3 road trip, gave the Bruins a split of the home-and-home Original Six series with the Leafs, who won 3-2 in Toronto Saturday night.
Tyler Seguin and Bergeron connected against Toronto goalie James Reimer, and Tuukka Rask then sealed the win with a save on Nikolai Kulemin.
The Bruins, who moved back into a tie with idle Montreal atop the Northeast Conference (Boston has two games in hand), scored just six goals on their four-game trip and trailed this game 2-0.
After second-period goals by Joffrey Lupul (No. 4) and Kulemin (No. 5), the Bruins came back when Milan Lucic scored his first goal in 16 games (fifth of the season) in the second period and Patrice Bergeron tied it at 10:36 of the third with his ninth of the year.
Rask, beaten only by Tyler Bozek in the shootout, improved his record to 12-8 in career shootouts, including 4-1 this season.
The Leafs have lost all four shootouts this season, and Reimer is just 3-8 on his career.
Bruins coach Claude Julien shook up his lines for the game (mostly to demote Lucic to the third line). Bergeron was back with his regular linemates, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, when defenseman Dougie Hamilton got him the puck in front. Bergeron beat Reimer with a backhander the goalie probably should have had.
Before that, the Bruins had put on all kinds of pressure as they were able to erase their deficit.
Julien talked about his team's struggles earlier Monday.
"What is disappointing right now is that we are not playing the type of game that we should," he said. "Tonight if we are mad, we've got to be mad at ourselves; for not playing our game and going out there and being a bit more hungry. Hopefully our work ethic and the talent we feel we have will take over."
In addition to shaking up the lines, the Bruins also played a home game in their white jerseys.
Nothing much worked early.
After a scoreless first period, Lupul, returning from a two-game suspension after a head hit, converted a power play pass from defenseman Jake Gardiner at 2:04 of the second.
Less than six minutes later, Nazem Kadri, who has been on fire, hit Kulemin with a breakaway pass between defensemen Andrew Ference and Aaron Johnson and beat Rask. It was Toronto's ninth shot of the game; after the Leafs scored three goals on just 13 shots Saturday night.
But Lucic ended his drought by breaking in around defenseman Cody Franson and scoring at 9:49 to cut the deficit in half.
NOTES: The Bruins remained two men short on defense, with Johnny Boychuk missing his second straight game with a foot injury that has him day-to-day and joining defense-mate Adam McQuaid (shoulder) on the sidelines. Julien revealed McQuaid is expected to miss 4-6 week with his injury, a longer prognosis than the original 3-4 weeks. He missed his third straight game Monday night. ... Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles was out after suffering a foot injury against the Bruins Saturday. ... Lupul played his 100th game in a Leafs uniform. ... The Maple Leafs host the Panthers tonight, while the Bruins have the rival Canadiens in town Wednesday. Montreal won on its first trip to Boston in this shortened season, while the Bruins won up north.
Kadri, who came into the game with 34 points in 32 games, is the youngest Leaf (22) with 30 points in the first 30 games of a season since Ed Olczyk (also 22) did it in 1988-89.