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game recap

Maple Leafs close gap on Bruins

Tyler Bozak's power-play goal with 1:57 left pulls Toronto within point of Boston for third place in Atlantic Division

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Tyler Bozak scored a power-play goal with 1:57 remaining to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Frederik Andersen made 32 saves for the Maple Leafs (33-23-15), who pulled within one point of the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand. The Maple Leafs swept the season series against the Bruins, winning all four games.

Toronto moved three points ahead of the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

WATCH: All Bruins vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

"There's not many better feelings," Bozak said. "It was a big game that we needed; it was nice to be able to put that one in. I think we all did a good job, every line. I didn't think we had a good start, but I thought everyone kind of came together and we played well in the second and third [periods]."

Boston (38-28-6) remained four points behind the Ottawa Senators for second place in the Atlantic Division.

"It's one of those that hurts," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "We talked about before the game doing the job and we didn't do it."

David Backes, who missed the morning skate because of a cold, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 7:26 of the first period.

The Maple Leafs responded at 14:05 when Morgan Rielly went to the net and took a pass in the slot from Mitchell Marner before fooling Tuukka Rask with a backhand shot.

Video: BOS@TOR: Rielly puts home his own rebound with knee

Toronto had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:07 when Bergeron took a delay of game penalty at 16:40 of the first period, but the Bruins killed it off.

William Nylander scored an empty-net goal at 18:47 of the third period to make it 3-1. Nazem Kadri made it 4-1 with an empty-net goal at 19:10.

Dominic Moore made it 4-2 when he scored at 19:50 of the third.

 

Goal of the game

Bozak took a pass from James van Riemsdyk in the slot and sent a shot along the ice past Rask to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead.

Video: BOS@TOR: Bozak gives Leafs a late lead with PPG

 

Save of the game

Van Riemsdyk set up Matt Hunwick in the slot from a one-timer with a pass from behind the net, but Rask moved to his right to make the save at 10:34 of the second period to keep it 1-1.

Video: BOS@TOR: Rask pushes across to shut down Hunwick

 

Highlight of the game

Riley Nash tried a wraparound at 14:08 of the third period, but Andersen got his pad down to keep it out. As the rebound lay free in the goal crease for a few seconds, Andersen was able to cover up with Moore looking for a loose puck.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak had three hits, two blocked shots, one assist and was plus-2 in 17:09 of ice time.

 

They said it

"It's a big boost. Each game from now until the end of the season is big for us; there are big points at stake every single night. When you're playing a team in your division or conference, it's even that much bigger. We knew the importance of the game tonight. We came out, answered the bell and got a big win, so that's a good sign for us." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly

 

"It's actually a lot of fun. You don't really think about the time, you just play. It's like when you're a kid out on the street, you just play until it gets dark. I guess they got it fixed for the last period. It's something you don't want to be dealing with, but when it happens you just try to have fun with it." -- Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen on the clock at Air Canada Centre, which was malfunctioning through the first two periods

 

"I thought it was an egregious call, to be perfectly honest with you. A guy driving the net, their guy is there, it happens probably 100 times during the course of a game. But we have to get the job done on the penalty kill. It's been good for us all year, and unfortunately we needed one more." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on Dominic Moore's interference penalty that led to Tyler Bozak's goal

 

Need to know

Bozak won 15 of 20 faceoffs. … Van Riemsdyk set an NHL career high with 32 assists this season.

 

What's next

Bruins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Bozak's late power-play goal lifts Leafs past Bruins

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