Defending champions beat Maple Leafs 4-1

Defending champions beat Maple Leafs 4-1

TORONTO - Reuters
Defending champions beat Maple Leafs 4-1

David Krejci had a goal and assist to lead the Boston Bruins past the Toronto Maple Leafs. AFP photo

The Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins continued their red-hot streak with a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, notching up their 13th victory in their past 14 games.

Boston, who have won three successive games including back-to-back wins over Toronto, have lost just once since October 29, in a shootout to the Detroit Red Wings on November 25, to ascend to the top of the Northeast Division.

“They (Toronto) were one point behind us so we wanted to stay ahead of them,” said Bruins center David Krejci. “And we still have some games in hand. So games like that we have to keep pushing in the standings. I think we had a good game tonight.”

Krejci and Nathan Horton had a goal and assist each while linemate Milan Lucic had two assists to lead the Bruins offense.

Krejci had opened the scoring early in the second period before Mikail Grabovski scored Toronto’s goal, 48 seconds later.

Boston’s Chris Kelly then took a beautiful pass from Rich Peverley for a tap-in to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the second period before Johnny Boychuk and Horton added to the lead in the third period.

Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer made 26 stops in his first start since October 22 but was outplayed by Tuukka Rask in goal for Boston who was making his first loss since the Bruins loss to Detroit.

“Well, it was good to get back in there, but it wasn’t exactly the result we were looking for, or I was looking for,” Reimer said. “The way I see it, Rask outplayed me today. That frustrates me more than anything.”

The Maple Leafs wilted in the final period and provided little counterpunch firing just four shots as Boston cemented the win.

“I was happy with how we played in the first two periods,” said Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson. “But the third period, they just ground it out and we couldn’t get the puck out of our zone, a few extended shifts, some breakdowns, a bit of bad luck.”