Toronto's Nazem Kadri scores the game-winning goal on Boston Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson (30) on Thursday. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Leafs sink Bruins in OT
Defenseman Paul Ranger, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who prevailed despite blowing a two-goal third-period lead to remain one point behind Columbus for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. James Reimer stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief of an injured Jonathan Bernier (25 saves) while Phil Kessel and Cody Franson each had two assists for Toronto, which has played two more games than Columbus.
Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored third-period goals and Brad Marchand also tallied for Boston, which lost its second straight following a white-hot 15-0-1 stretch. Chad Johnson turned aside 27 shots but had his six-start winning streak come to an end.
The Maple Leafs snapped a 1-1 deadlock with 12 seconds left in the first period when Kessel fired a pass from the left side into the crease that caromed off Bozak and over the shoulder of Johnson. Kessel also set up the next goal, intercepting a pass behind the net and sliding a pass to an unguarded van Riemsdyk, who scooped a shot over Johnson 52 seconds into the second period for his 30th goal.
The Bruins crept within a goal five minutes into the third after David Krejci circled the net and fed Lucic for a one-timer from the top of the left circle and Bergeron notched the equalizer, burying Marchand's pass in the slot with 7:09 left to play for his ninth goal in nine games.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Bergeron extended his point streak to a career high-tying 10 games with his 28th goal, three shy of his career-high 31 set in 2005-06. ... Van Riemsyk joined Kessel as 30-goal scorers, marking the first time Toronto has had two players score 30 in a season since Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin accomplished it in 2010-11. ... Maple Leafs F Joffrey Lupul was an unexpected scratch with a lower-body injury. ... Bruins F Carl Soderberg missed the game to fly back to Boston to await the birth of his first child.