Boston, MA – Former Bruin Phil Kessel and birthday boy James van Riemsdyk each scored in the third period, as the Toronto Maple Leafs evened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Boston with a 4-2 victory in Game 2 at TD Garden.
Joffrey Lupul supplied two second-period goals for the Maple Leafs, who were thoroughly dominated in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday. James Reimer, like the rest of his Toronto teammates, rebounded with a 39-save effort to earn his first career postseason win.
"The tempo of the game was a lot different from our standpoint. We moved the puck more effectively, didn't turn it over. That was the biggest difference between tonight and Wednesday," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle.
Nathan Horton and Johnny Boychuk had the goals for Boston, while Tuukka Rask was beaten four times on 32 shots.
"We were prepared for those adjustments (made by Toronto), but our execution wasn't as good tonight," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
The series shifts to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday.
Kessel gave the Maple Leafs a two-goal cushion 53 seconds into the final period. He skated down the middle of the ice on a breakaway and snapped a wrister through the pads of Rask.
The Bruins closed to within 3-2 at the 10:35 mark. Reimer reached out with his blocker to stop Boychuk's right-point blast, but the puck appeared to deflect in off Toronto forward Tyler Bozak, who was engaged in a net-front battle with Boston's Tyler Seguin.
Toronto, however, regained a two-goal advantage with 3:07 to play. Mikhail Grabovski cut to the middle and sent a pass that an off-balanced van Riemsdyk, who turned 24 on Saturday, was able to put in past the outstretched right pad of Rask and the post.
The Bruins opened the second period with a surge, leading to the game's first tally.
Toronto defenseman Cody Franson turned the puck over in the Boston zone as he was unable to get it deep. Horton launched a counter rush into the Toronto end and dropped a pass to Milan Lucic before driving to the crease. Reimer turned away Lucic's bid from the top of the left circle, but the rebound wound up going in off Horton's right skate at 1:56. The goal stood after replay determined a kicking motion wasn't used to propel the puck across the goal line.
Not long after Horton's goal, Boston captain Zdeno Chara tripped Ryan Hamilton behind the Boston net.
The Maple Leafs converted on the ensuing power play after Rask stopped a Jake Gardiner shot tipped by Lupul. Lupul gathered the rebound and tied the game with a shot from the slot at 5:18.
Toronto's Nikolai Kulemin rang a backhander off the post just past the midway point of the frame, but Lupul didn't miss a short time later.
Matt Frattin darted nearly the length of the ice with the puck before pushing it into the middle from the right wing. Lupul knocked down the pass and roofed a backhander as Rask dived across in vain at 11:56.
One of the best chances in a scoreless first period belonged to Boston's Gregory Campbell. Off a Maple Leafs giveaway, Campbell let go a shot that trickled behind Reimer, but the Toronto goalie reached behind and covered the puck in the crease.
Toronto registered its first playoff win since taking Game 4 of a semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 30, 2004 ... The Maple Leafs snapped a six-game losing streak in Boston, a slide that includes the series opener ... The Bruins were without defenseman Andrew Ference, who was suspended one game for an illegal check to the head of Grabovski on Wednesday. No penalty was assessed on the play.