TORONTO - Chris Bourque has scored two goals in his National Hockey League career.
There is no question in his mind which one is bigger. It was the goal he scored in the first period Saturday night that gave the Boston Bruins a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
It was the forward's first goal for the Bruins. His father, Ray, was a stalwart defenseman and captain of the Bruins for several years.
"It means a lot, I obviously grew up being the biggest Boston Bruins fan," Bourque said. "So being able to score a goal for the Bruins is something I'm not going to forget for the rest of my life obviously, and to help this team win, it's pretty exciting."
The goal was enough for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask turned aside 21 shots to earn his first shutout of the season while improving his record to 5-1-1 for the season. The Bruins had 34 shots on goal and Toronto goalie James Reimer stopped all but one.
"It was nice to see him score that goal," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He's very capable of doing those kinds of things and the confidence he had tonight, you could see he was a different player. It's good to see him get that monkey off his back."
Bourque, who is in his first season with the Bruins, has scored one other goal in the NHL, while with the Washington Capitals at Buffalo vs. the Sabres on Dec. 30, 2008.
"To score that goal tonight early was a lot of weight off my shoulders," Bourque said.
His father, he said, was in Florida golfing but he expected that he would receive a couple of texts from the former Bruin great. He has been giving his son some advice.
"He said just stay positive and keep playing my game and the bounces are going to come," Bourque said. "There were a couple of close calls there where I could have got points, keep playing hard, just slow the tempo down and make the plays you're capable of."
The Bruins rebounded from a 7-4 loss to Buffalo on Thursday "We just cleaned up our game defensively, we were extremely sloppy against Buffalo," Julien said. "Their goaltender played really well, we had our chances. We took a lot of penalties and our penalty killers did a good job."
Added Leafs defenseman Cody Franson, "Reims played very well. Give them credit they played well but we weren't good enough."
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle concurred.
"That's the way they play and they're a good team," Carlyle said. "They did what they had to do to be effective, to play a road game and we didn't do enough of the things that we're capable of to establish a strong home game in the 60 minutes."
The Bruins nursed their slim lead, preventing the Maple Leafs from having many clear chances and then doing a good job of bringing the puck out of their own end. They were often dangerous on the counterattack as the Leafs tried to press.
The Leafs went on the power play at 11:24 of the third period when Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was called for interference, but Toronto did not threaten.
Toronto had the man advantage again when Tyler Seguin was called for slashing at 17:35. Boston came close to scoring, with Patrice Bergeron hitting the post on a rink-long clearing shot.
The Leafs had a power play for the first 1:56 of the second period after Chris Kelly took a hooking penalty late in the first. However, Toronto (4-4-0) fired a couple of shots wide and had a shot by John-Michael Liles blocked by Seidenberg.
Boston (6-1-1) put the puck in the net at 6:30 of the second, but it was disallowed because Reimer did not have a chance to reset his position after being knocked down by Brad Marchand, a call that was verified by a video review.
Reimer made a good save on Nathan Horton's chance just past the midway point of the second. Shortly after, the Leafs killed off a penalty on a delay-of-game penalty to Dion Phaneuf after the puck was knocked over the glass. The Bruins had the better of the play through two periods and held a 24-13 advantage in shots as well as a 1-0 lead.
Bourque scored his first goal of the season at 8:54 of the first period, steering in a pass from the right wing by Kelly. Rich Peverley also picked up an assist. The Leafs thought they had tied the game a couple of minutes later on a slap shot from just inside the blue line by Franson, but it was nullified because goaltender interference was called on Nazem Kadri.
"That's a game that's there for us," Phaneuf said. "We had opportunities and we could have had that game or at least gone to overtime. It's disappointing when one gets called back like that but it's part of the game."
NOTES: Bruins wingers Shawn Thornton (concussion) and Daniel Paille (upper body) were not with the team for the game. ... Defenseman Aaron Johnson was a scratch for Boston. ... Bruins forward Jamie Tardif made his NHL debut in his seventh professional season after 449 games in the ECHL and AHL. ... Toronto winger Mike Brown (upper body) is expected to be out for another week. ... Maple Leafs scratches were wingers Clarke MacArthur and Ryan Hamilton and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. ... The Bruins won all six games against the Leafs last season, going 7-0 at the ACC and 8-0 in Boston. ... Leafs forward Phil Kessel, a former Bruin, scored once last season against his former team. ... Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, drafted with the second first-round pick Boston got in the Kessel trade, plays against the Leafs for the first time. Seguin was drafted in 2010 with the other first-round pick the Bruins received for Kessel. ... Toronto's next game is Monday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. ... Boston plays next against the Canadiens at Montreal on Wednesday.