NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Boston
(Thursday, March 31st)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Boston 3 (SO)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Nazem Kadri scored in the second round of the shootout, as the Toronto Maple Leafs kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Joffrey Lupul scored a pair of goals and dished out an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have 82 points and sit five back of the Sabres and Rangers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Luke Schenn had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which has won five of six. James Reimer made 35 saves.
Brad Marchand tallied a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who had a chance to win the Northeast Division with a victory. Andrew Ference and David Krejci also lit the lamp.
Tim Thomas made 28 saves for Boston, which has 97 points and sits third in the East. The Bruins have an eight-point lead over idle Montreal for the top spot in the division.
"We certainly weren't as good a team as we can be and didn't bring our 'A' game," Boston head coach Claude Julien said.
The Maple Leafs drew first blood at the 7:06 mark of the first period. Schenn's shot from the right point deflected off a Boston player and snuck past Thomas.
Marchand's short-handed goal at the 2:09 mark of the middle stanza made it a 1-1 game. He stole the puck at center ice and charged down the left side with a Toronto defender all over his back. But Marchand kept control of the puck and beat Reimer with a backhander.
Krejci gave Boston a 2-1 lead just 59 seconds later on a tic-tac-toe goal.
Lupul tied the contest again on the power play at the 7:06 mark. Phil Kessel controlled the puck behind the net and threw a pass in front, and it hit Lupul's skate before going into the net. Replay confirmed Lupul did not use a kicking motion.
The Bruins re-gained the lead a little more than a minute later, when Ference's slapper from the left point went through Reimer's pads.
Lupul sent the game into overtime with the tying goal at the 7:53 mark of the third. After Boston turned the puck over in its own zone, Lupul beat Thomas with a shot from the slot.
The overtime period featured a penalty shot and a power play.
Just 43 seconds into the extra session, Thomas stuffed Mikhail Grabovski on the one-on-one chance. Then, with 65 seconds to play, Lupul was sent to the box for slashing. But Reimer held strong in net to force a shootout.
Kadri, the second shooter of the second round, used a few juke moves before backhanding the puck by Thomas. Rich Peverley had a chance to extend the shootout, but Reimer made the save to secure the victory.
"I thought we had a great first period, we made a couple of mental mistakes in the second that they took advantage of and we hung in there," Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said. "In the third we pushed the pace. We were rewarded to get to overtime and almost won it with Grabo but we will take the shootout."
Toronto took four of six meetings from Boston this season...The Bruins will win the division with their next victory or Montreal's next loss...Boston forward Shawn Thornton missed the game after suffering a cut above his right eye in Tuesday's game. Thornton needed 40-plus stitches to repair a laceration caused by the skate of Chicago's Fernando Pisani.
04/01 00:52:50 ET