TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins returned to their winning ways and produced a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night at Air Canada Centre.
It wasn't a dominating performance similar to Game 1, but the Bruins capitalized on the Maple Leafs' mistakes to secure a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Bruins got goals from Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille (short-handed) and David Krejci (empty net). Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask came up big time and again, finishing with 46 saves. For Toronto, Jake Gardiner and Phil Kessel scored, while goaltender James Reimer made 34 saves.
The Bruins produced numerous shots from the point in the opening period, and one resulted in the first goal of the game. McQuaid's slap shot from the right point made its way through traffic and beat a screened Reimer to give Boston a 1-0 lead at 13:42 of the period. The tally was McQuaid's first career goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins gained a 2-0 lead on Peverley's goal at 5:57 of the second period. Linemate Jaromir Jagr picked Maple Leafs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne clean of the puck behind the net and fed Peverley in front for the goal.
Boston's two-goal advantage disappeared later in the period.
With the Bruins' Tyler Seguin in the box for a lazy tripping penalty, Toronto capitalized and cut its deficit when Gardiner scored a power-play goal at 13:45.
Fortunately for Seguin and the Bruins, Horton gave Boston another two-goal lead when he scored his third goal of the playoffs less than a minute later for a 3-1 advantage at 14:35.
Boston found itself in the box again, this time for too many men, but Paille did what he does best and provided a short-handed goal at 16:37 of the second period to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead.
It didn't take long for the Maple Leafs to cut the deficit again, as Kessel scored a power-play goal only 47 seconds into the third period. Rask made two big saves in succession but Boston's penalty killers couldn't clear the rebound, and Kessel capitalized. Rask was not happy after the play.
Krejci added an empty-net goal at 18:43.
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the Bruins leading 1-0 early in the second period, the Maple Leafs created a 2-on-1 and produced a quality scoring chance, but Rask made a timely, left-pad save on Joffrey Lupul at the five-minute mark of the period. That save proved crucial, as Boston scored less than a minute later for a 2-0 advantage.
'D' ME UP: With defenseman Andrew Ference back in the lineup after serving his one-game suspension in Game 2, Bruins coach Claude Julien was able to reunite his top defensive pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. Ference was paired with Johnny Boychuk, while Wade Redden and McQuaid played together.
SCRATCHES: With Ference back, rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch after making his Stanley Cup playoffs debut in Game 2. Also watching from press level for Game 3 were Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo and Aaron Johnson.
UP NEXT: The series continues Wednesday with Game 4 at Air Canada Centre.