Special teams fail Bruins in loss to Maple Leafs
BOSTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs’ top line was a little too much for the Boston Bruins to handle Tuesday night.
Center Tyler Bozak scored two goals and set up another, right winger Phil Kessel posted three assists and left winger James Van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist as the Leafs hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Bruins.
The win was the second in a row for Toronto, which lost its previous four games. The Bruins, who went 1-2 on a three-game trip through California, lost three of their last four.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves, 14 in the third period, to get the win.
Defenseman Jake Gardiner, set up by Kessel, also scored the Leafs, who scored two power-play goals — Gardiner’s third goal of the season.
The Bruins led 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by left winger Brad Marchand and center Patrice Bergeron, the 11th for both — while center Gregory Campbell scored his third at 9:35 of the third period.
Boston, which put steads pressure on after that goal, yielded six power play goals in the last four games.
Tuukka Rask stopped 22 shots in the Boston goal.
Bernier stopped right winger Jarome Iginla on a breakaway 90 seconds into the game, but was beaten by a Marchand rebound of right winger Reilly Smith shot 3:38 into the game.
Toronto came right back to tie, but the goal may have been offside Kessel sent the puck back to the blue line and defenseman Carl Gunnarson stepped into a slapper that was saved by Rask. But Bozak scored on the rebound at 5:52.
The Bruins took the lead again at 10:55 when Bergeron got a rebound of a shot by defenseman Zdeno Chara behind the net and tucked it in behind Bernier on the backhand.
The Toronto power play then took over, with Bozak scoring again at 12:47 of the first and Gardiner at 7:09 of the second.
Van Riemsdyk made it 4-2, beating Rask through a screen a minute into the third period but a Gardiner giveaway led to left winger Daniel Paille setting up Campbell.
Notes: D Dougie Hamilton was out of the Boston lineup with a mild concussion, while fellow D Johnny Boychuk returned after missing a game for personal reason. ... Toronto RW Colton Orr was out with the flu. ... G Jonathan Bernier started for the 10th time in the last 11 Toronto games. ... The Leafs host the Buffalo Sabres tonight while the Bruins, in the midst of seven of nine on the road, visit Dallas and Chicago on Thursday and Sunday. ... The Bruins, in their 90th season, are honoring decades throughout the season. Tuesday night it was the 2000’s and P.J. Axelsson dropped the first puck. ... Bruins D Zdeno Chara played in his 1,100th NHL game. ... Boston RW Shawn Thornton, nine seconds into in his first home shift after his 15-game suspension for his attack on Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik, fought LW Frazier McLaren.