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Kulemin scores in overtime as Maple Leafs defeat Bruins 4-3

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO - Nikolai Kulemin scored in overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 Tuesday.

Kulemin scored 4:11 into the extra frame, making the most of a broken two-on-one with Mikhail Grabovski and beating prone Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.

Grabovski was playing for the first time since missing 23 games with a broken wrist.

The Leafs (21-33-12) forced overtime when Luca Caputi swatted home a rebound 7:13 into the third.

Caputi was playing his first game in his hometown of Toronto since being acquired at the trade deadline for Alexei Ponikarovsky,

Wayne Primeau and Carl Gunnarsson also scored for Toronto, while Jonas Gustavsson stopped 26 shots for the win.

Luke Schenn picked up a pair of assists for the Leafs, including a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone just before Caputi tied the game.

Mark Recchi and Marco Sturm each scored a goal and added two assists for Boston (29-24-12), while Patrice Bergeron got the Bruins' other marker.

Thomas faced 30 shots.

The Bruins played their first game since losing top centre Marc Savard to a concussion following a controversial hit to the head by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke last Sunday.

Boston also took a hit on the blue-line, as captain Zdeno Chara missed the game with a lower-body injury.

The Bruins took their third lead of the game 3:07 into the third period when Bergeron banged home a loose puck during a goalmouth scramble.

But Caputi brought the Leafs back for the third time before Kulemin won it.

Former Bruin Phil Kessel had two terrific chances to score in the last 10 minutes of the third, but was thwarted by Thomas both times. While he did pick up an assist for his first point in five games against his old team, Kessel continues to be snake-bitten offensively against the Bruins.

Boston opened the scoring when Recchi swatted a rebound past Gustavsson just 2:47 into the game as Strum caused some havoc in front of the Toronto goal.

It marked the 11th time in their past 12 games that the Bruins scored first.

The Leafs failed to pull even during a 50-second two-man advantage in the first period, but did tie the game on Primeau's second-period goal.

Schenn hit Primeau in full flight through the neutral zone and the big Leafs winger stuck a puck through the pads of Thomas on a play the Bruins puckstopper would likely like to have back.

Boston used a two-man advantage of its own to regain the lead. Recchi, the crafty Bruins veteran, sent a quick pass to the side of the net, where Sturm fired the puck past Gustavsson.

Toronto tied the game 2-2 when Gunnarsson's point shot appeared to deflect on its way to the goal, eluding Thomas with just 1:22 left in the second period.

Notes: Defenceman Jeff Penner made his NHL debut for the Bruins. Thomas, last year's Vezina Trophy winner, was making his fourth consecutive start for the first time since mid-December. The Bruins were playing the second game of a seven-game road trip, the longest they've had since the 2003-04 season. Boston has scored first in 11 of its last 12 games.

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