BOSTON -- James Reimer made 43 saves and the Maple Leafs staved off elimination by beating the Bruins 2-1 in Game 5 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
As expected, the Maple Leafs showed up with the determination of a team facing elimination. But the Bruins appeared to be already looking ahead to the second round, and they paid for it. They will give it another try in Game 6 in Toronto on Sunday night. If they fail to clinch again, then Game 7 will be back in Boston on Monday night.
After a scoreless first period, the Leafs took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Tyler Bozak 11:27 into the second period. Clarke MacArthur scored what proved to be the game winner 1:58 into the final frame, putting the Leafs ahead 2-0.
Zdeno Chara was able to beat Reimer 11:12 into the third period, but the Toronto goalie preserved the 2-1 lead and helped his team to live another day.
Chara returning to Norris form: Zdeno Chara wasn't nominated for the Norris Trophy, but in his past two games, Chara's play certainly has been Norris-worthy. After a four-assist night in Game 4, Chara continued to play a solid two-way game and once again he was creating offense. His third-period goal was beautiful, but his play throughout the game was even more impressive. He was stellar in the defensive zone and was pinching and driving to the net when the time was right. If he continues to lead with his play that can only mean good things for the Bruins.
Can't blame Rask: Until Game 5, there had been two players the Bruins could depend on: David Krejci and Tuukka Rask. While neither was to blame for this loss, Krejci was held pointless. Rask did his job once again, but as they did so many times in the regular season, the Bruins wasted a great performance by their goalie. If not for Rask, the Bruins would have been booking their flights to Toronto in the first intermission. The Leafs peppered the Bruins and Rask was apparently the only one ready for the desperation of a team facing elimination.
Bad start for Bruins: The Bruins did not come into this game ready to match the Leafs' intensity. Given the experiences the core of this team has been through in the past -- specifically the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals when they blew a 3-0 series lead -- one would think the Bruins wouldn't allow themselves to feel any comfort in a 3-1 series lead. But the Bruins looked too content in the first period, almost daring Toronto to take advantage. Luckily for the Bruins, the Leafs couldn't score in the first period despite outshooting the Bruins 19-8, and Toronto led only 1-0 after two periods of play.
Bartkowski in for Redden: With defenseman Wade Redden out of the lineup, Bruins coach Claude Julien elected to go with recent call-up Matt Bartkowski instead of rookie Dougie Hamilton, who has played in one game this series. Here's what the Bruins lineup looked like to start the game:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid