TORONTO – Nazem Kadri scored in the first period, and Frazer McLaren added a timely goal in the third as the Toronto Maple Leafs ended an eight-game losing streak to the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night.
The Bruins tried to rally from a 3-0 hole in the third period, throwing everything they had at Toronto in the final minutes. The teams will meet again Monday in Boston.
Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, who scored after the goalie was pulled, had goals for the Bruins. Boston held a 33-13 edge in shots.
Mikhail Grabovski also scored for Toronto (17-12-3), which did a lot with a little offense in a game in which both teams misfired. The Maple Leafs had four shots in the first period, five in the second, and four in the third but managed to score a goal in each frame.
The Bruins (20-7-3) hadn’t lost in the regular season to Toronto since March 31, 2011.
But the Boston offense has been spotty lately. The Bruins went 1-3 on a four-game trip, scored only five goals, and were 0-for-9 on the power play.
Toronto, which came in having won just one of seven, looked sloppy for much of the evening but skated off with the win.
Kadri opened the scoring at 4:58 with his 14th of the season, beating Anton Khudobin on a low shot after a nifty pass from Clarke MacArthur went under Seidenberg’s stick to him.
It was the first time Toronto led Boston since Oct. 20, 2011, when Dave Steckel scored the opening goal in a 6-2 loss.
Toronto was lucky to escape after Mark Fraser’s giveaway led to havoc in the Maple Leafs’ end later in the period. Fraser did it again minutes later, and Toronto got away with it a second time.
James Reimer stopped Nathan Horton on the doorstep as the period ended with Boston outshooting the Leafs 10-4.
Grabovski made it 2-0 with Toronto’s first shot of the second period at 2:52 after flying past Milan Lucic. He eluded defenseman Mark Bartkowski and then had the puck bounce back to him off another Bruins player before he fired in a wrist shot for his eighth of the season.
It was his second goal in two games after a 10-game drought.
Reimer stopped Patrice Bergeron’s shot to further frustrate the Bruins. At the other end, Nikolai Kulemin fired a puck off the crossbar.
McLaren scored his third of the season at 1:34 of the third period, jamming the puck in off Khudobin at the edge of the crease. Claude Julien then put Tuukka Rask in goal.
Boston got on the board at 2:30 when Seidenberg’s shot from the point trickled through a screened Reimer. The Bruins came on hard after that, hitting the post twice.
Ference cut the deficit to 3-2 at 18:44 with Rask on the bench for an extra attacker.
The Bruins were playing without injured defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid.
Toronto’s John-Michael Liles left the game in the second period after a sliding Daniel Paille hit him at the boards. He sustained an undisclosed lower body injury and didn’t return.
Linesman Mark Shewchyk also had a tough night, crashing into the corner boards after his skate tangled with Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf.