TORONTO — Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel scored third-period goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Boston Bruins 2-1 Sunday to send their playoff series back to Boston for Game 7 Monday night.
The Maple Leafs have momentum after two consecutive wins.
In another fine performance, Toronto goaltender James Reimer stopped 29 of 30 shots, giving up a goal to Milan Lucic with just 26 seconds to play and the Boston net empty.
For defenseman Phaneuf, scoring a goal was a bit of redemption after being involved in the play that led to the Bruins’ overtime winner in Game 4.
Phaneuf’s goal at 1:48 of the third period came after Nazem Kadri ripped a wrist shot that was tipped in by Phaneuf, who had made his way to the front of the goal after continuing his rush.
Boston had lost the puck in the Toronto end on an attempt at a pass by David Krejci.
Kessel then added to the lead at 8:59, picking up the puck after James van Riemsdyk dealt with two Bruins in front of goal and backhanded it past Tuukka Rask. Kadri beat Patrice Bergeron on the faceoff to start the play.
Rask finished with 24 saves.
After combining for 170 shots in the past two games, the teams played defensively in what started as a much tighter game, but opened up later on.
The tight game made for a tense atmosphere inside where 19,591 fans wielded giveaway blue or white towels.
Outside, another amped-up crowd packed Maple Leafs Square outside the Air Canada Centre to watch the game on a big screen, despite chilly temperatures at game time.
Boston defenseman Andrew Ference did not make the trip to Toronto for undisclosed reasons. But Wade Redden returned to the lineup after missing Game 5.
That prompted Bruins Coach Claude Julien to change his defensive pairings, as he did when Ference was suspended for Game 2.
Captain Zdeno Chara played with Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg with Adam McQuaid, and Redden with rookie Dougie Hamilton.
Boston dominated most of the first period, skating hard and pushing the pace.
Shots were few and far between but Boston’s Gregory Campbell, parked in front of the net, had a good chance near the midway point of the period. But he failed to get a lot on the attempt and Reimer made the stop.
The Bruins outshot Toronto 8-7 in a tight first period.Boston continued to bottle up the Leafs in their own end for stretches of the second, with Boychuk hitting the post from the blue line.
A diving Reimer made a stop on Bergeron six minutes in, going across the crease on his stomach as Boychuk came from behind the net and tried to stuff the puck in.
Reimer, who came into the game leading all playoff goalies in shots against (207) and saves (192), stopped Bergeron again seconds later.
Toronto swarmed the Boston goal midway through the second period, with Jake Gardiner pressuring the Bruins, and Kessel forced a nifty glove save from Rask.
The line of Krejci, Lucic and Nathan Horton, which came into the game with eight goals and 15 assists, was again dangerous for Boston and Krejci came close in the second, but fired wide on an odd-man rush.
Rask showed off his glove skills late in the period when he caught a Phaneuf shot
The teams had 10 shots apiece in the second period.