Leafs Double Up Bruins to Tie Series
Boston — Joffrey Lupul scored two goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs earned a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins last night that evened their first-round series at one game.
The Maple Leafs played aggressively from the start after a weak performance in a 4-1 loss in which the Bruins were much more physical.
But that changed early in Game 2 as Toronto delivered 22 hits in the first period to just 10 for Boston.
Nathan Horton gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 1:56 of the second period, but Lupul scored at 5:18 on a power play and at 11:56 with the teams at even strength.
Phil Kessel made it 3-1 on a breakaway 53 seconds into the third period. Johnny Boychuk cut the lead at 10:35 before James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto at 16:53.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven playoff series is tomorrow night in Toronto.
The Bruins played without Andrew Ference, part of their second defensive pairing, after the NHL suspended him for one game for elbowing Mikhail Grabovski in the head in the first period of the opener on Wednesday night.
The Maple Leafs also were missing a defenseman. Michael Kostka was out after breaking a finger in the first game. He was replaced by Jake Gardiner, who assisted on Lupul’s first goal.
Lupul had scored 11 goals in 16 games in the regular season. He missed 32 — two on a suspension, five with a concussion and 25 with a broken forearm caused by a hard shot from teammate Dion Phaneuf.
Horton gave the Bruins the lead with his second goal of the series when he dropped the puck in the left circle for a trailing Milan Lucic then kept skating to the net. James Reimer stopped Lucic’s shot, but the puck went off Horton’s right skate and into the net.
Reimer finished with 39 saves for the Leafs.
Lupul tied the game just two seconds before Zdeno Chara was to leave the penalty box after being called for tripping. Gardiner fired a wrist shot from the left point, Tuukka Rask made the save, and Lupul put the rebound in on a short forehand shot.
Less than seven minutes later, Lupul got the go-ahead goal after Matt Frattin carried the puck deep along the right side then passed it across the slot where Lupul tipped it into the open left side of the net.
Then Kessel, who led the Maple Leafs with 20 goals and 52 points, connected against the team he’s struggled against since being traded to Toronto in September 2009.
He began the night with just three goals and six assists in 23 games against Boston. And he got his usual round of jeers from Bruins fans nearly every time he was on the ice.
But he provided a two-goal cushion when he raced behind Boston’s defensemen, took a pass from Nazem Kadri past the red line and fired the puck between Rask’s pads.
Notes: Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, went on the ice in a wheelchair before the game. He smiled, pumped his fist and waved a big Bruins flag while wearing the team’s jersey. He had been photographed being taken to emergency medical treatment minutes after the explosions by Carlos Arredondo, who was wearing a cowboy hat, and others. ... Boston’s Brad Marchand limped to the bench with about five minutes left in the second period and went out the runway toward his locker room. But he was back on the ice soon after. ... Toronto nearly scored 90 seconds before Lupul’s second goal when Nikolai Kulemin’s shot clanged off the post.