The Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, in front of 19,469 fans at the Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins, now 11-9-2, outdistanced the Leafs, who now stand at 13-9-4, in the second game of a two game set in Ontario, swept the series and earned their third win against Toronto.
Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas
, who has certainly regained the form and flash he displayed most of last season for Boston, finished the game with 45 saves and was clearly the difference for the Black & Gold.
"Timmy was absolutely fabulous," said Bruins head coach, Dave Lewis. "It was a good victory for us."
Verbal jabs may have been exchanged before the game, but the real action remained of the skating and checking variety throughout the contest. The much-anticipated rematch between Paul Mara and Darcy Tucker never materialized -- especially since Mara was injured during the second period and did not return for the third.
At the start of the game the Bruins and Maple Leafs came flying out of their respective locker rooms and played an intense, entertaining, and quick moving first period.
And, as per usual in his current streak, Thomas was sharp early on and made 11 saves in the scoreless first. Thomas' blue and white clad counterpart and former teammate, Toronto's Andrew Raycroft, made eight stops.
But at 5:59 of the second period, the Bruins went up 1-0 on Shean Donovan's first goal of the year, first goal as a Bruin and his 200th NHL point (assisted by Andrew Alberts and Mark Mowers) .
However, Toronto's Nik Antropov answered the Donovan goal when he scored his fifth of the year at 15:39.
It was a controversial goal, as the puck went directly off Antropov's skate. Thomas motioned to the referee that the Leaf had kicked the puck in, but initially there seemed to be no need to protest as the call from the on-ice officials was 'no goal.'
The off-ice replay officials saw it differently, however, and ruled that Antropov did not kick the puck past Thomas. As such, the game was tied 1-1 when the teams went to the locker room for the second break.
The momentum of the game seemed tilted in favor of the home squad early in the third session, but Thomas was up to the task, making 21 saves in the final stanza.
His Bruin teammates backed him offensively, as well, as Glen Murray and Marco Sturm scored to put the Bruins up 3-1. Then at 19:36 Brad Boyes scored into an open net to put the B's up 4-1.
"It's a lot about hard work," said Glen Murray, whose goal was the eventual game winner. "If you go out there and work your tail off, things will happen and we've done that the last two games."
"That's another big win for us," said Thomas, post game. "They obviously wanted to pick up their play from last game.
"To go get the winning goals after being tied in the third period -- that's a huge game."
"It was physical and they were coming very hard at us," said Zdeno Chara
. "We hung in there and tried to keep things really simple and played a smart game."
The Black and Gold return home to the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday when they square off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available for all home games online by clicking here
, at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 617.624.BEAR.