BOSTON (AP)—The Boston Bruins rode a backup goalie to their first Northeast Division win of the season.
“He was solid and made timely saves when we needed them,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “If your goaltender is not one of your best players, it is very difficult to win in this league.”
Boston, which had been 0-5-1 in the division, won for just the second time in seven games.
Eric Lindros cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2:37 left when he scored his eighth goal, jamming the puck past Toivonen.
Toivonen—making his third NHL start—snapped the Bruins’ six-game streak of allowing at least three goals.
“I am not going to say I am happy for him, but he played very well and deserved to win,” Toronto’s rookie counterpart Mikael Tellqvist said.
Sergei Samsonov scored the eventual winning goal 1:12 into the third period when he took a feed from Joe Thornton behind the Toronto net and slid the puck past Tellqvist. It was Samsonov’s fifth goal in five games.
“I am tired of watching other guys make plays right on our doorstep,” Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. “We can’t be giving gifts away. It is one thing to get beat, but another to beat yourself.”
Jiri Slegr’s power-play goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead with 5:09 remaining in the first period. He fired a slap shot from the blue line that deflected off a Toronto player’s skate and past Tellqvist.
The goal snapped the Bruins’ 0-for-11 drought on the power play against the Maple Leafs and marked only the fourth time in 12 games that Boston scored first.
Toivonen sparkled in the second period when he made 20 saves while turning back several point blank opportunities.
“I hope to carry the feeling I had in the second period through for the rest of the year,” Toivonen said.
Tellqvist made 28 saves for Toronto.
Raycroft will be out for a week because of a strained hamstring. Jordan Sigalet was recalled from Providence of the AHL to replace him. … Toronto was 1-for-5 with the man advantage and began the night with the top power play in the NHL.