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Boston Bruins 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 FINAL @NHLdotcom

TORONTO (AP) _ The Toronto Maple Leafs need Ed Belfour to return if they are going to protect their division lead.

Glen Murray scored and had an assist, and the Bruins moved within a point of Toronto for first place in the Northeast Division with a 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

Mike Knuble, Andy Hilbert, Ted Donato and Joe Thornton scored for the Bruins, who led 5-1 early in the second. Toronto backup goalie Trevor Kidd allowed goals on three straight shots in the second.

``Belfour is a big part of their team. When he's out it's tough for them,'' Thornton said.

Kidd struggled again, allowing five goals on 26 shots. He played because Belfour sat out with a stiff back for the sixth time in seven games.

``There's a lot of teams that have played good over the last month that have caught us,'' said Kidd, whose team is tied with Ottawa with 76 points. ``Boston is one of them and Ottawa is right on our heels now.''

Fans jeered Kidd after he made several saves following the fifth goal. He has allowed 18 goals in five games.

``It's not fun, but you have to work through it,'' Kidd said. ``What else can you do?''

The Bruins have recorded at least a point in 10 straight games.

``I don't think we're surprising anyone anymore. The league knows we're playing well,'' Thornton said.

Owen Nolan and Matt Stajan scored for the Maple Leafs, who were booed as they left the ice.

Toronto defenseman Aki Berg turned the puck over twice in the first 32 seconds of the game, leading to two great scoring chances. Thornton almost scored on a breakaway after the first faceoff, and Knuble scored after Berg failed to clear the puck.

``If we don't straighten things in front of our goalie, I don't care who we put in there,'' Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.

Kidd fell to his knees too early before Hilbert put a one-timer past him at 11:44 of the first.

Nolan scored a short-handed goal at 14:56 of the first, but Murray scored as he was being checked to the ice less than two minutes later.

Toronto defenseman Karel Pilar turned the puck over before Donato made it 4-1 at 2:49 of the second. Less than a minute later, Thornton put a weak shot past Kidd.

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