Kessel, Grabovski Lead Maple Leafs Past Bruins 4-3
BOSTON (AP) — Mikhail Grabovski scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:01 remaining and the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
Grabovski and former Bruin Phil Kessel both finished with two goals for Toronto, which fell behind 3-2 on Patrice Bergeron’s 20th goal of the season with 10:52 to play.
Kessel’s second goal of the game tied it with 6:33 left. Grabovski’s game-winner extended Boston’s losing streak to three straight.
Joffrey Lupol had two assists, his first points with Toronto, and James Reimer finished with 32 saves.
Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who have allowed 20 goals in their last four games. Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins.
Boston continued to struggle in its final home appearance before a six-game road trip. The Bruins have lost four of five. They were sloppy through the first two periods, then again in the final 10 minutes as Toronto came from behind and left the Bruins stunned.
Kessel, still unpopular in Boston for holding out until he was traded in 2009, was booed throughout the night. He jumped on a turnover by Zdeno Chara at the blue line, got around Andrew Ference for a mini-breakaway and faked out Thomas with a forehand shot to tie the game with 6:33 remaining.
The game appeared headed for overtime until Grabovski, who was dazed by Chara on a headfirst hit into the boards in the first period, took a pass from Clarke MacArthur and beat Thomas.
Bergeron broke a 2-all tie with an even-strength goal with 10:52 left. Adam McQuaid fired a shot from the point and Bergeron was in place for the rebound despite getting smothered by defenseman Dion Phaneuf as he poked the puck into the net for his first goal in five games.
Grabovski, who drew a penalty when he was driven into the boards by Chara in the first, put Toronto up 2-1 early in the second on a lucky bounce off Boston defenseman Steven Kampfer’s leg for a wide-open backhand.
The Bruins tied it at 2 with 1:26 to go in the first on a power-play goal. Reimer couldn’t handle a shot from the slot by Brad Marchand and the rebound bounced up in the crease, where Campbell knocked it in. The play withstood a video review.
Kessel’s first goal was also on a high rebound, but his stick was below the crossbar and the goal was deemed OK. The Maple Leafs were already on a power play when Chara was called for boarding, giving Toronto 1 second of a 5-on-3 advantage. That was enough time for the Leafs to win the faceoff and get a shot from Lupol, who hit Thomas. But the puck bounced right to Kessel for a mid-air one-timer.
Paille, coming off a four-game suspension for a blind-side hit on Dallas’ Raymond Sawada on Feb. 3, put Boston up 1-0 with 11:56 left in the first when the puck deflected off a Toronto player’s skate.
NOTES: Phaneuf had two assists for Toronto. … Bergeron has 20 goals in a season for the first time since 2007. … Toronto picked up Lupol, a center, in a trade with Anaheim last week. … Toronto was 2 for 3 on the power play. Boston finished 1 for 4.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)