TORONTO — Third-period goals by Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1 win over the Bruins in Game 6 of their series Sunday night at Air Canada Centre.
Game 7 is Monday night at 7 at TD Garden. The Bruins once held a 3-1 series lead.
Phaneuf broke a 0-0 tie at 1:48. The play started after the Bruins’ David Krejci and Milan Lucic couldn’t connect on a pass in the offensive zone. The Leafs went the other way, with Nazem Kadri cutting into the high slot with the puck. Kadri snapped a shot on goal that Phaneuf tipped past Tuukka Rask to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
The Leafs made it 2-0 at 8:59. After they won an offensive-zone faceoff, Cody Franson snapped a shot on goal from the right point as James van Riemsdyk caused havoc in front of the net. Because the Bruins were occupied with van Riemsdyk, nobody covered Kessel streaking in for the rebound. Kessel tapped the puck into an empty net.
Lucic scored a six-on-five goal with 25.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Bruins held an 18-17 shot advantage through 40 scoreless minutes. Both Rask and James Reimer were perfect, but neither was tested.
Both clubs were sharp defensively and not allowing any space in the middle of the ice.
The Bruins had a rare odd-man rush late in the second period. The chance developed because Carl Gunnarsson decided to pinch down the left-side boards to challenge a puck against Lucic. The Bruins squeaked free, giving Krejci and Nathan Horton a two-on-one rush against Phaneuf. Krejci had a good look in front, but the center snapped his shot wide right of the net.
Rask had a sharp glove in the second period. Kessel curled into the offensive zone and snapped an off-wing shot on goal. Rask flashed his glove to snare Kessel’s shot at 8:21. With 1.7 seconds remaining in the period, Phaneuf hammered a one-timer from the top of the right circle. Rask gloved Phaneuf’s shot to keep the game scoreless.
Krejci brought a five-game scoring streak into the night. He and his linemates saw plenty of Gunnarsson and Phaneuf, Toronto’s top pairing.
“I think the most positive thing when you play up against those types of lines is that if you can hold their scoring chances, your turnovers usually go hand in hand,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said before the game. “If you turn the puck over when they’re on the ice, they’re going to play in your zone. So if you can limit the amount of turnovers and start to create more offensive-zone time in their zone, they have to play defense. That usually transfers into you having a little bit more success with their very talented line.”
The Bruins held an 8-7 shot advantage after 20 minutes.
They had two power plays in the first. At 2:12, John-Michael Liles was called for delay of game. The best chance the Bruins had was when Krejci tried to hit Brad Marchand sneaking in backdoor, but Marchand couldn’t get his stick on Krejci’s pass.
The Bruins had their second power play after Riemsdyk was called for goalie interference. Patrice Bergeron had a net-front sniff when Jaromir Jagr threw a pass out to the slot, but Bergeron couldn’t get much on his shot.
Toronto had one power play, when Adam McQuaid was called for interference on Clarke MacArthur. The Bruins’ penalty killers were effective at collapsing in the slot.
Daniel Paille suffered a cut on his chin when Leo Komarov accidentally caught the fourth-line left wing with the heel of his skate blade. Paille received treatment on the bench and never went to the dressing room.
Tyler Bozak was a late scratch. Bozak participated in warmups, but he was replaced by former Bruin Joe Colborne. It was Colborne’s first NHL playoff game.
Bozak had been Toronto’s top-line center between Joffrey Lupul and Kessel. Because of Bozak’s absence, Carlyle adjusted his lines. Kadri took several shifts between van Riemsdyk and Kessel.