The Boston Bruins got two late goals by forward Mark Recchi en route to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Mark Stuart, Derek Morris, and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. The Maple Leafs got goals from Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin.
For the second time in less than a week, former Bruins forward Phil Kessel returned to the TD Banknorth Garden, after signing a five-year, free agent contract with the Maple Leafs in the summer. And, as was the case in last Saturday's 7-2 Boston win, the hometown faithful showered the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry draft with a plethora of boos each time he touched the puck.
Bruins coach Claude Julien also made sure to have 7' 2" defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice to limit Kessel's time and space.
Late in the second period, Boston center Marc Savard crushed Kessel with a body check during a Leafs power play. A stunned Kessel, who scored 36 goals with Boston a year ago playing alongside Savard, decided to turn the other cheek with his team still on the man-advantage.
Jason Blake's second high-sticking penalty of the game late in the third period proved to be too costly for the Maple Leafs. Blake clipped Chara behind the Bruins net after attempting to strip him of the puck at 15:59.
The Bruins subsequently scored on the ensuing power play to open up a 4-2 lead. Grabovski and Kulemin scored four minutes apart earlier in the period to trim Toronto's deficit to 3-2.
Blake received a four-minute, high-sticking penalty on the Maple Leafs first shift of the game but the Leafs managed to kill off the double minor.
The turning point of this game came at the 11:10 mark of the second period, when sophomore center Krejci blocked Luke Schenn's point shot and raced in on goal to beat Maple Leafs netminder Vesa Toskala to put Boston up 3-0. Just prior to the goal, former Leafs' goalie Tuuka Rask stoned Toronto blueliner Tomas Kaberle on a re-direction attempt following a nice feed from winger Rickard Wallin.
The Finnish-born Rask is now a perfect 3-0 against the Maple Leafs, who selected him first in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, 21st overall. He was later dealt to the Bruins in exchange for Andrew Raycroft.
These two teams will meet again on Dec. 19 at the Air Canada Centre, marking the third meeting of these Original Six combatants in 14 days.
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