Goalie Reimer brilliant against Bruins as Leafs force Game 6
BOSTON - The Toronto Maple Leafs, on the brink of elimination after a stunning home overtime loss in Game 4, stayed alive in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins Friday night.
With the Bruins now up 3-2, Game 6 is in Toronto Sunday night.
Zdeno Chara, who had assists on all four Boston goals in Wednesday night's fourth game, cut a two-goal deficit in half in the third period, then put tremendous pressure on goalie James Reimer and his young teammates.
But the Bruins couldn't score.
With goalie Tuukka Rask pulled in the final 1:11, Jaromir Jagr found himself alone in front of Reimer, and the goalie made his sixth save of the night on the future Hall of Famer.
Jagr finished with seven shots on goal, and Chara had eight.
Outshot 19-8 in the first period, the Bruins held a 36-14 shot advantage the rest of the way, but Reimer, playing his best game of the series, kept the puck out as the fifth-seeded Leafs won their second road game of the series.
Ryan Bozak (shorthanded) and Clarke MacArthur both victimized the Boston defense to put their team ahead: Bozak outskated Andrew Ference to a loose puck to get his goal, and MacArthur went around Johnny Boychuk to score.
Boychuk rang a shot off the post before the fourth-seeded Bruins could get on the board.
Down 2-0, the Bruins had a long shift in the Toronto zone, a shift that should have ended with Reimer gloving a flip shot from the point from Chara. But the goalie couldn't catch the puck and the play continued, Krejci setting up Chara in the high slot to make it 2-1 with 8:48 still left. The Maple Leafs started to hang on like a battered boxer.
It was the 11th point of the series for Krejci, who had a hat trick, including the overtime winner on Wednesday night.
The Leafs failed to apply much pressure during an early power play, but they turned on the jets and outskated the Bruins through the rest of a scoreless first period.
Rask stopped 19 shots, perhaps the best save being a glove stop on MacArthur 7:15 into the period. Rask looked as sharp as he did in the two games in Toronto. Meanwhile, at the other end, Reimer wasn't called on much, making eight saves.
The visitors were still skating hard and playing well at the start of the second period. The shots for the game stood at 25-12 in favor of the Leafs six minutes into the period, but Reimer did have to make a stop on Petrice Bergeron from the slot 2:19 in. Reimer then made the best save to that point of the game, robbing Bergeron from the doorstep midway through the period, just before the Bruins' first power play of the game.
But it was the Leafs who scored first, breaking through on an unassisted shorthanded goal by Bozak at 11:27 of the second period.
NOTES: Defenseman Wade Redden was out of the Bruins' lineup with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 4. Matt Bartkowski was recalled from Providence and got the nod over rookie Dougie Hamilton to make his playoff debut. "It's good that he's been playing. That's why we sent them down there," coach Claude Julien said of Bartkowski, who may have been picked because he is a lefty shot and could play alongside righty shooting Adam McQuaid on defense. ... John-Michael Liles was in the Toronto lineup replacing the injured Mark Fraser, who underwent surgery for facial fractures after taking a puck shot by Milan Lucic to the head. It was Liles' second appearance in the series. ... The Bruins came in with a 9-8 record in Game 5s when leading a series 3-1. They were also 15-2 in seven-game series that saw them own a 3-1 lead. The Leafs, on the other hand, were 1-13 when trailing a playoff series 3-1. The only win in that category came in 1942, when Toronto rallied from down 0-3 to win the Stanley Cup over Detroit. ... The Bruins' ceremonial banner captain for the game was Carlos Arredondo, the hero wearing the cowboy hat who raced to the aid of Boston Marathon victims.