Earlier in the day, Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell announced that Andrew Raycroft would be sidelined with a strained hamstring, leaving Toivonen to fill the void in net. Toivonen answered the call with superb play, earning his second victory of the year.
"For sure it was a good effort from everyone," said Toivonen. "The guys played really well in front of me and helped me see the puck. It's so much easier to make those saves when you can see the puck. The only thing that matters is that we won, and hopefully the fans are happy we won."
Jiri Slegr scored his first goal of the season on the power play at 14:51 of the first period to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Slegr ripped a slap shot from the point that changed direction mid-flight and made its way to the top left corner of the net. P.J. Axelsson and Dave Scatchard were credited with the assists.
The second period was all Hannu Toivonen though. Toivonen kept the Bruins in the game and was perfect in the frame, turning aside all 20 shots he faced. The two teams skated to a scoreless tie, with the Bruins taking their 1-0 lead into the third period.
Just 1:12 into the third period, the Bruins added a second goal to make it 2-0.
On the power play, Joe Thornton stopped behind the net, paused, and then slid the puck out front to Sergei Samsonov who deposited it in the net for his 6th goal of the season.
With over 2 minutes left to play, Leafs forward Eric Lindros spoiled Toivonen's shutout bid when he followed up his own rebound on the power play to cut the Bruins lead in half. In the end, Toivonen and the Bruins were too strong, as they held on to preserve the win, 2-1.
Coach Sullivan was certainly happy with the win, especially about Hannu Toivonen's performance.
"Hannu was solid and made some timely saves to help us win," said Coach Sullivan. "He certainly was one of our top players tonight and the goalie needs to be a top player to win games. I think after a couple games under his belt he knows he belongs. He has that certain level of confidence that's essential for any player to have success in this league, and he believes in himself, as he should, for good reason.
"Tonight was a hard fought win, it wasn't easy, and it certainly feels good to be in the win column. Not only in our division but in our building as well," Sullivan added.
The Boston Bruins look to win two in a row when they play host to the New Jersey Devils at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. (NESN). Prior to the game, the Bruins Alumni team will play Russia's Gazpromexport hockey team at 4:00 p.m. Fans holding tickets to the Bruins game will be allowed into the Garden early for this "fan appreciation" event. Donations from fans will be accepted at both games by the Bruins Foundation for local children's charities. Click here to purchase tickets to this special double-header