Toronto, ON – David Krejci capped his hat trick with the winner at 13:06 of overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
With the puck in the Boston zone, Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf pinched up to make a hit on Nathan Horton just as Horton was making a pass and the puck got behind him. Krejci picked up the disc and skated down the left wing, snapping a shot from down low that beat James Reimer for the victory.
Krejci scored his other two goals in the second period while Patrice Bergeron also had a goal in the second stanza for Boston, which now holds a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series. Tuukka Rask made 45 stops in the win.
Joffrey Lupul had a goal and an assist while Clarke MacArthur and Cody Franson also scored for the Maple Leafs, who dropped their first two home playoff games since 2004 to put the team in a deep hole. Reimer made 41 saves in the loss.
"It was a man's hockey game out there, with a lot of energy and a lot of physical play," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "That's the way the playoffs are played. We just have to find a way to bottle the positives we put forth in tonight's game and bring that for Friday in Boston."
Boston can close out this series on Friday when it hosts Game 5.
The Maple Leafs struck just 2:35 into the game as Phil Kessel took the puck behind the net from the left to the right and centered it for Lupul, who snapped it home for his third of the playoffs.
It was a 2-0 game with 1:28 to play in the opening frame as Franson's wrist shot from the right point went through a screen and beat Rask.
The Bruins surged ahead with three straight goals in the second period, starting just 32 seconds in on a power play as Bergeron put home a Zdeno Chara rebound.
It was a tie game at 12:59 when Brad Marchand's snap shot from the right wing was tipped in by Krejci during a jam in front and the Bruins made it a 3-2 game less than four minutes later as Krejci's one-timer off a feed from Horton beat Reimer for another power-play goal.
"There are players who thrive on playoff hockey, and he's one of those guys," said Boston head coach Claude Julien about Krejci. "We know he's a great playmaker and skilled player, but the other part of his game is he doesn't shy away from traffic and he doesn't shy away a physical game. He's very gritty when he needs to be gritty."
The Leafs, though, got that goal back just moments later to sent it to the second intermission tied as Matt Frattin's slap shot from the left point was blocked in front, but MacArthur was in the slot to slap home the loose puck for his first of the playoffs.
Toronto had to kill off a double-minor early in the third period after Nazem Kadri was whistled for high-sticking, but it passed without a goal.
Rask turned away 14 shots in the third while Reimer made seven saves to force overtime.
Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser left in the third period after being hit in the face by a Milan Lucic slap shot ... Chara assisted on all four goals ... Boston went 2-for-5 on the power play while Toronto was 0-for-4 ... This is the 14th time these two Original Six clubs are meeting in the postseason. Toronto has won eight of the previous matchups ... Krejci has five goals and five assists in this series ... Boston forward Jaromir Jagr had an assist in the game, giving him 191 playoff points in his career and moving him past Brett Hull and into sixth place all-time.