BOSTON — Three straight goals and Jonathan Bernier in net was enough for Toronto to hold a third-period lead in Boston this time.
Bernier stopped 38 shots, including 15 in the final period as the Maple Leafs held off the Bruins 4-3 last night.
“It’s fun. It’s why we play hockey — that little pressure, that extra pressure. I thought we reacted in a good way,” Bernier said.
Bernier wasn’t part of the Toronto club that blew a late 4-2 lead and lost 5-4 in overtime to the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series last spring. But he knew plenty of his teammates hadn’t forgotten, which made Tuesday night a bit of a special regular-season victory.
“I thought the atmosphere was awesome. I think both teams played hard, and lots of hitting in that game,” Bernier said. “When we get skating and we hit a lot, I think we get a lot of energy from our bench and we play very well.”
Tyler Bozak scored twice, Phil Kessel had three assists and James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist for Toronto. Jake Gardiner also scored for the Maple Leafs, who were 0-2 against the defending Eastern Conference champions this season.
“Hopefully, it bleeds some of the demons out of us,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and an assist for Boston. Gregory Campbell pulled the Bruins to 4-3 with 10:25 left in the third period, but Bernier stopped a late flurry of shots after Boston pulled goalie Tuukka Rask for the extra skater.
Toronto scored twice on the power play, while the Bruins were 0 for 3.
“We had a lot of good looks. We’ve obviously got to do a better job and bear down,” Bergeron said. “On the power play they did that and we didn’t do it, so the game’s right there.”