NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Boston
(Thursday, January 17th)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Boston 2 (SO)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Alex Steen scored once in regulation and Mats Sundin notched the game-winner in the shootout, as Toronto clipped Boston, 3-2, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Sundin tallied on Toronto's second shootout chance by slipping a shot between Alex Auld's pads, then Vesa Toskala stoned Boston's Marc Savard. Steen followed with the clincher by fooling Auld with a stick fake in the high slot, moving to the right side, and popping the puck inside the right post.
Matt Stajan lit the lamp in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who won for just the third time in their last 11 games.
Tomas Kaberle registered a pair of assists and Toskala stopped 29 shots in the win.
"The last two games we've been getting some breaks, some much-needed ones," said Steen. "Our guys have been working hard and deserved those bounces. Tonight, I thought we were working hard and on the right side of the puck all game and we were fortunate that they hit a couple of posts. We're very happy with the win, tonight was nice and juicy but it's all about collecting points."
Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm scored for the Bruins, who have lost three of four overall and dropped their first game to Toronto since an embarrassing 10-2 home loss on January 4, 2007 -- a span of five contests.
Auld allowed two goals on 33 shots in regulation, dropping to 8-11-0 on the season.
Toronto got on the board exactly four minutes into the contest, as Steen accepted Sundin's feed in the left circle, and whipped a wrister through a screen and just inside the right post.
Boston tied the game with 5:33 to play in the first and two seconds after Sundin's interference penalty expired, as Chara's blast from the bottom of the left circle on a rolling puck zipped by Toskala.
Only 90 seconds later, the B's went up 2-1. Savard slipped a cross-ice pass to Sturm, who stepped in front of Toskala, moved from forehand to backhand, and flipped the puck into an open net.
After half a dozen unsuccessful attempts to dent Auld, the Leafs managed to tie the game with nine seconds left in the period on a broken play. Pavel Kubina forced a right-point shot which hit a Bruins defenseman and skittered to Stajan, who backhanded the puck while falling past a slow-to-react Auld.
Boston's Phil Kessel had the best chance on either side to break the deadlock, but his shot from the slot with 5 1/2 minutes to play squarely hit the left post after passing through Toskala's pads.
"No doubt it's disappointing but I'm not going to point the fingers at our team because [it happens] when you have seven regulars out and a bunch of kids out there," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "That [loss] is not from a lack of trying."
Toronto improved to 2-3 in the shootout this year, while Boston fell to 1-3...Savard increased his team-best assist total to 38 with a pair of helpers...AHL goal-scoring leader Pascal Pelletier made his NHL debut for Boston, recalled from Providence prior to the game...Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman left the game midway through overtime after absorbing a slap shot. He is officially listed as day-to-day with a bruised right shoulder..Neither team scored on seven combined power-play chances.
01/17 22:42:32 ET