TORONTO - Motivated by an embarrassing showing the last time they played the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs turned the tables Wednesday night.
The Leafs scored four goals during a nine-minute stretch, chasing Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tuukka Rask on the way to a 6-1 blowout of the Bruins at Air Canada Centre.
With the victory, Toronto (9-5-2) moved just ahead of Boston (10-7-0) in the Atlantic Division standings. Each team has 20 points but the Leafs have played one fewer game.
Phil Kessel had two goals to get to 10 for the season, and Morgan Rielly, Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk and Peter Holland each scored for the Leafs. Jonathan Bernier was solid in making 25 saves despite not being tested much.
Rask allowed four goals on 16 shots before giving way to backup Niklas Svedberg. It was not clear which goaltender would be in net Thursday night when the Bruins visit the Montreal Canadiens.
Dennis Seidenberg scored Boston's only goal.
After his team's morning skate, coach Randy Carlyle said the Leafs weren't forgetting their 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Oct. 26.
"We've tried to stimulate our memory a little bit about how embarrassed we were by the performance that we put forth in that game," Carlyle said.
It was with that memory that the Leafs turned up the heat on "Rivalry Night."
This was a quick start for the Leafs in that they didn't give up a goal before fans got settled in their seats. In the previous three games, they surrendered one within the first three minutes.
The Leafs actually controlled play early, and Rask prevented Bozak from scoring 52 seconds in with a stick-on-post save. Rask couldn't do much a few minutes later when Kessel got going.
After the puck got past Bruins rookie defenceman Zach Trotman along the boards, Kessel skated down the right wing and took a perfect snap shot that went into the top corner far side on Rask. Kessel's team-leading ninth goal of the season made it 1-0 Leafs 6:46 in.
At the time the shots were 7-1 in favour of the Leafs, and they finished the first period up 12-8 in that department.
Even if play evened off a bit late in the first, Toronto poured it on in the second. Kessel scored 18 seconds in, beating Rask glove side this time for his 10th of the season.
Rielly made it 3-0 at the 1:34 mark by firing home a rebound after Peter Holland's shot went off Rask's left pad and right to him in front.
On the power play at 3:32, Bozak scored his sixth of the season on a give-and-go with van Riemsdyk. The fourth goal on shot No. 16 was enough to bring Claude Julien's hook on Rask.
Svedberg, Boston's backup goaltender, played well in relief but was helpless on the Leafs' double-deflection power-play goal that made it 5-0. Jake Gardiner's shot went off Bozak and then van Riemsdyk at 9:51 of the second and the rout was on.
The Bruins got one back 14:16 into the second when Seidenberg beat Bernier with a wrist shot through traffic.
In the third period, Holland added to the onslaught with his fourth of the season. At the 7:21 mark and with the Leafs on a power play, he drove to the net and lifted a back-hander past Svedberg.
Notes ??? Leafs defenceman Stephane Robidas was playing in his 900th NHL game. Robidas left the game briefly in the first period after blocking a shot but did not miss much time. ... With an assist on Kessel's first goal, Cody Franson extended his point streak to five games. ... Bruins centre David Krejci missed his second straight game and fourth in the past five with an undisclosed injury. Krejci did not travel with the team, so he also isn't expected to play Thursday night in Montreal ... Bruins defenceman Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game.