BOSTON (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to overcome a poor opening period.
Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.
“The last three games the first period kind of did us in,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t start on time. We were able to hold on. It still wasn’t the first period we wanted, but we didn’t give up the goals and we were able to execute a little bit.”
After managing only two shots on goal in the first, Toronto was happy to get to the dressing room with the game scoreless.
“I don’t think we gave up too much even though we didn’t produce anything,” Andersen said. “To come out 0-0 is pretty good. We came out better in the second and the third. It was a good turnaround.”
James van Riemsdyk scored in the third for Toronto, which was 0-2-1 in its last three games. Connor Brown added an empty-netter and Andersen improved to 6-0-0 in his career against Boston.
Brad Marchand had the Bruins’ goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots.
Former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick had two assists.
Boston lost to Colorado, then-the NHL’s worst team, on Thursday night at TD Garden and followed that by losing to the team that entered as the Eastern Conference’s last-place club.
Boston fell behind 3-0 in its previous two games before the Maple Leafs went up 2-0 in the second.
“It’s tough. We try to score that first goal and get the lead and the last couple of games we’ve been letting in like two or three goals and trying to catch up,” Rask said. “Today was one of those. It’s not easy. It takes a lot out of you.”
Boston had earned points in 12 of the last 13 meetings against Toronto (9-1-3).
Like a number of games this season, the Bruins have been frustrated by their inability score.
“Goalies are too good in this league if you don’t make it hard on them,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said “A lot of it is that.”
Toronto moved ahead on Matthews’ goal 1:44 into the second. The NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick last summer took a pass from William Nylander and fired a wrist shot over Rask’s left shoulder.
Hyman redirected defenseman Jake Gardner’s shot from the slot, and the puck dipped and fluttered by Rask to make it 2-0 with 4:46 remaining in the period.
Marchand took advantage of a turnover behind Toronto’s net, slicing it to 2-1 with 1:21 left in the second. Andersen misplayed a clearing attempt, firing the puck off a player where it dropped next to the rear boards. He had a second chance to clear or cover it, but Marchand beat him to it, circled and put in his own rebound.
The Bruins had the best chance in the first period when David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the left point caromed off the left post early into the game.
Tyler Bozak’s shot was tipped in by van Riemsdyk midway into the third.
NOTES: The Bruins recalled forwards Noel Acciari and Danton Heinen from Providence of the AHL before the game and assigned F Anton Blidh to the AHL. … The first game between the two clubs was just over 92 years ago: Dec. 3, 1924, when the Toronto St. Pats beat the Bruins, 5-3. … Toronto won the only other meeting so far this season, 4-1 at home on October 15.
Maple Leafs: Host Colorado on Sunday in the opener of five straight at home – four against teams from the Western Conference.
Bruins: At Montreal on Monday night.
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