TORONTO -- Two nights earlier, at the most critical time in the game, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer let a shot slip past him that looked quite stoppable.
It was in overtime and it meant his team lost the game and fell into a 3-1 series deficit against the Boston Bruins in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Much of the focus after the game was on Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who had pinched on the play, allowing the Bruins to break away on an odd-man rush. Had Reimer made the save, all would have been well and Phaneuf's indiscretion would have been forgotten.
Fast forward to Friday, and again at a critical time -- this time in a scoreless game -- Reimer produced a game-saving stop, robbing Boston's Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins center cut in front of the net, causing Reimer to do the splits. With his leg stretched to the maximum, Reimer stopped the puck with the toe of his skate.
For Reimer, the spectacular save was all in a day's work.
"Honestly, it's one of those saves that you don't plan," Reimer said. "It just kind of happens. Obviously it's probably mostly just luck. He had a little bit of room on the side, but it went off my toe. It's just a lucky save and hopefully there's a few more of those left."
Reimer said he was thrilled to see Phaneuf bounce back with a solid outing. The Maple Leafs captain played 21:38 with two shots on goal, seven hits and two blocked shots.
"He's a great player, a heart-and-soul player," Reimer said. "He'll do whatever it takes to win or be there for the guys on the team. I thought he had a great game and he had a couple of key blocks. Overall, he's a tough player to play against, too, and he's a great asset to our hockey team."