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Toronto at Boston

Stralman's third-period goal helps Maple Leafs rally past Bruins

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron waited almost a full season to get back on the ice, and even longer to get back on the board.

The Bruins forward scored his first goal of the season -- and first in more than a year -- to help Boston open an early lead on Thursday night, but the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four in a row to win 4-2 and snap a five-game losing streak.

"It was great to just get back at it, play hockey, have fun," said Bergeron, who missed the last 72 games and the playoffs last season with a severe concussion. "It's my passion, and obviously scoring goals is a part of it."

Anton Stralman, who tipped in a Bruins goal to give Boston a 2-0 lead in the first, broke a 2-2 tie with 9:14 left in the third period. Vesa Toskala stopped 26 shots for Toronto, which had lost twice in regulation and three times in shootouts since opening the season with a victory against the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

Mike Van Ryn and Nik Antropov also scored for the Maple Leafs, who hit the post twice against an empty net in the last minute before Niklas Hagman scored from beyond the blue line to make it 4-2.

It was the second successive game Toronto came back to tie it after falling behind 2-0 in the first.

"It's a young team, and they're not going to give up and they're not going to think, 'Oh, here we go again from last year or the year before,' " Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "This group seems to really enjoy playing with each other, and tonight was a lot of fun."

Tim Thomas made 33 saves for the Bruins.

Blake Wheeler scored 31 seconds after Bergeron to give Boston a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but the Maple Leafs came back.

"I guess we kind of took them lightly, like we were going to run them out of the building," said Milan Lucic, who had the hit of the night when he shattered the plexiglass with a check on Van Ryn. "But they kept working and working and working."

Bergeron last scored on Oct. 13, 2007, five games before he was lost for the season after being knocked unconscious when Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones hit him from behind and smashed his face into the glass. Bergeron was on the verge of returning when the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by Montreal.

"He's been working hard; he's been playing well," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Hopefully this is something that will get him going."

Bergeron's goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead with 4:28 left in the first period. Wheeler made it 2-0 when he took a pass at the Bruins' blue line and brought it down the right side, where he backhanded it past Toskala and off Stralman's stick into the net.

Lucic put Van Ryn through the glass 20 seconds into the second period, sending shards of glass flying into the crowd and raining down on the Leafs defenseman's neck. Two fans were treated for cuts on their faces and taken to the hospital for further treatment, and two others cut their hands touching the glass and stayed to watch the game.

All the fans in the first two rows were moved to a luxury suite.

About six minutes later, Van Ryn scored Toronto's first goal, and Antropov tied it two minutes after that.

"At least I'll get on TV," Van Ryn said. "I'm still itchy. It seems like it's caught everywhere on me. ... It just exploded. I feel bad for the lady that got cut."

Notes

  • The Bruins have scored the first goal five times in seven games.
  • The Bruins did not get a shot on goal until 9:44 into the first period. The Leafs did not allow a shot in their last game, against Anaheim, for the final 7:46 of the second period and all of the third. In all, they went 37:20 in regulation without allowing a shot. (The Ducks got three shots in overtime).
  • Phil Kessel and Marc Savard had scored 11 of the Bruins 18 goals coming into the game.
  • P.J. Axelsson, who missed three games with muscle spasms, returned.
  • Wilson said Luke Schenn is "more than likely staying" when the team has to decide whether to pay his contract or return him to juniors.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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After giving up two goals in the first, Vesa Toskala thwarts Boston for the rest of the game.  (AP)
After giving up two goals in the first, Vesa Toskala thwarts Boston for the rest of the game. (AP)

Scoreboard
Toronto  (2-2-3) «0224
Boston (2-2-3)2002
Three Stars
N. Antropov
TOR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
T. Kaberle
TOR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
D. Krejci
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
15:32Patrice Bergeron (1), Tip-In. Assist: Sturm, Hnidy
16:03Blake Wheeler (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Axelsson, Ward
2ND PERIOD
06:17Power Play - Mike Van Ryn (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hagman, Kulemin
08:30Nik Antropov (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Stajan, Ponikarovsky
3RD PERIOD
10:46Anton Stralman (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Moore, Steen
19:57Power Play - Niklas Hagman (2), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:43Thornton, 2 min, Tripping
11:59Savard, 2 min, Holding
18:50Schenn, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
04:31Ference, 2 min, Hooking
08:45Sturm, 2 min, Hooking
11:08Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Holding
19:04Schenn, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
02:45Wheeler, 2 min, Hooking
05:20Steen, 2 min, Hooking
08:21Ryder, 2 min, Holding
18:08Kessel, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Toronto11121437
Boston881228
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Vesa Toskala59:55262
Tim Thomas59:42333
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Toronto2-for-2
Boston0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 12274
Referees - Dave Jackson, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen - Andy McElman, Jonny Murray
 
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