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Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 2

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- They say a playoff series isn't really a series until a road team wins a game.

Well, if that's true, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a real series with the Boston Bruins.

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals, Phil Kessel scored a rare goal against his old team and James Reimer stopped 39 shots to give the Leafs a 4-2 victory Saturday night that evened the Eastern Conference series at a game apiece.

The fifth-seeded Maple Leafs, earning their first playoff win since 2004, now have home-ice advantage with the series shifting to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday nights.

Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, unhappy with his team's play in a 4-1 loss in the opener, made four lineup changes, two on defense, and three of the four players had assists.

James van Riemsdyk also scored for Toronto, his second goal of the series coming after Johnny Boychuk brought his team to a goal down by scoring with 9:25 left. The Bruins then put all kinds of pressure on but Mikhail Grabovski set up van Riemsdyk, who beat Tuukka Rask with 3:07 left.

Nathan Horton's second goal of the series gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the second period.

Kessel's goal was only his fourth in 24 games against his old team and the first at even strength.

Toronto captain Dion Pheaneuf could face disciplinary action for what looked like an elbow to the head of Daniel Paille in the third period. No penalty was called but the hit was similar to the one Andrew Ference delivered on Grabovski in Game 1, earning Ference a one-game suspension.

The game had less than a second remaining when Boston's Shawn Thornton and Toronto's Mark Fraser went at it in a bout in front of the Toronto net.

Bruins center and the NHL's top faceoff man, Patrice Bergeron, was injured in a first-period collision with a sliding Nikolai Kulemin. Bergeron looked to be fine when he got up but left the game. He missed the last five minutes of the period but started the second.

The Leafs promised they'd be over their playoff jitters and they played a much better first period. The official stats had Toronto out-hitting Boston 22-10 and the Leafs had more odd-man rushes in the period than they did in three periods in Game 1.

The Bruins took the lead when Horton dropped a pass for Milan Lucic and then went to the net as Lucic took a slap shot. Horton, tied up with Cody Franson, scored on the rebound after the puck hit his skate. The play was reviewed and upheld at 1:56.

The Leafs tied it with Zdeno Chara off for tripping when Lupul tipped Jake Gardiner's shot on goal and then scored on the rebound at 5:18.

The Bruins killed a penalty soon after and, a short time later, Kulemin beat Rask but hit the post to leave the score tied.

NOTES: With Ference suspended for a game by the NHL for his Game 1 hit on Mikhail Grabovski, rookie Dougie Hamilton, a Toronto native, made his playoff debut. Like teammate Tyler Seguin, Hamilton came to Boston in the Kessel deal. ... Rich Peverley, a healthy scratch in Game 1, returned for the Bruins. He had 12 points in 25 playoff games on the team's Cup run in 2011. ... With John Michael Liles a healthy scratch and Mike Kostka out with a broken finger suffered in Game 1, defensemen Ryan O'Byrne and Gardiner joined the Toronto lineup. ... Asked about his team's edge over Toronto in playoff experience, Bruins coach Claude Julien said, "There wasn't much experience on that Islanders team last night, but they still won (in Pittsburgh), so I guess that answers the question." ... Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, who helped identify the suspects, was the honorary captain in pregame ceremonies. In a statement, Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack, said, "I want to thank everyone for their amazing support for me and all those injured and their families. I'm making great progress and I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to respect our space at this time. I want to thank the Bruins players and organization for the generosity and support for all those impacted. Like all those in Black and Gold, I can't wait to see them on another quest for the cup. Go Bruins!" He received a huge ovation when he appeared waving a "Boston Strong" flag. ... Brad Marchand's auction of his TD Garden suite raised $207,000 for the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the attack. ... Patriots owner Bob Kraft was again in the crowd.
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