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BRUINS 2, MAPLE LEAFS 1

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On his two power-play goals, Bruins proceed into playoff spot

TORONTO -- Yesterday morning, Bruins forward Travis Green was asked how he would go about beating Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour, with whom Green played in Toronto. Green said he had no idea.

But last night, he figured it out, potting two power-play goals to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 victory over Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. The win clinched a postseason berth for Boston, which extended its unbeaten streak to six (5-0-1-0).

Coach Mike Sullivan shuffled his power-play unit, installing Green and reinstalling right wing Marty Lapointe, and it paid off.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say it felt good to get the win [against his former team]," said Green, whose goals were Nos. 7 and 8 on the season. "But right now, it's all about getting points.

"It's nice to score against your old team. When a team doesn't want you, and another team does, you want to do your best for that team."

With the game tied, 1-1, in the third period, and Toronto defenseman Aki Berg off for slashing P.J. Axelsson, Lapointe relayed a pass to Jiri Slegr at the left point. Slegr threw the puck through traffic toward the net and Green, despite being leveled from behind by defenseman Bryan Marchment, got it in the scramble and backhanded it past Belfour with 7:29 remaining.

Being on the power play, said Green, "was a nice change. I haven't played the power play for a while. I give Mike credit. He changed things up tonight."

The Maple Leafs took the lead on a power-play goal at the 7-minute mark of the first period. As it turned out, the two most coveted defensemen at the NHL trading deadline were involved in the action leading up to the goal. With Sergei Gonchar off for holding at 5:47, Brian Leetch led the rush that resulted in Joe Nieuwendyk's tally. Leetch carried the puck up the ice and dished it to Nieuwendyk in the left circle. His shot beat Andrew Raycroft to the far side and Toronto was up, 1-0.

The Bruins had a chance to pull even when Tom Fitzgerald was called for charging defenseman Nick Boynton, giving them a power play. But 1:06 into the man advantage, right wing Glen Murray was whistled off for interference, nullifying it.

At the four-minute mark of the second, Slegr had a solid scoring opportunity but was denied by a goalpost.

Boston went on the power play when Slegr drew a penalty on center Nik Antropov at 4:41. Brian Rolston teed up a slapper from the right point that Murray attempted to tip in but Belfour held on. Just over 30 seconds later, the visitors hit pay dirt.

Gonchar dished a pass to left wing Mike Knuble in the right circle. Knuble relayed it to Green coming from the right circle and he lifted it over Belfour at 6:08 to make it all square.

Penalties plagued both teams for the rest of the period. At 7:07, Joe Thornton and Bryan McCabe were jousting and Gary Roberts skated in to join the fray. Sean O'Donnell objected and knocked Roberts on his keister, which resulted in a roughing call.

After the Bruins killed that off, the clubs skated four a side beginning at 9:29 when left wing Andy Hilbert was called for diving and Fitzgerald was called for holding. At the start of the four-on-four, Thornton rattled a shot off the crossbar.

There were more penalty problems at 10:17 when O'Donnell was sent to the box for high sticking Owen Nolan, a double minor. That pressure was eased, however, when Sundin was whistled off for holding at 11:38.

The third period was just as wild, with the Bruins continuing to tempt fate. At 5:42, Boynton was called for hooking, giving the Maple Leafs their sixth power play. Gonchar had a superb shorthanded bid when he took a pass from Axelsson and fired a shot from deep in the left circle, but Belfour denied it.

At 9:28, Thornton had two kicks at the can when he tried to beat Belfour through the five-hole but was stopped. He tried to lift his own rebound over the netminder's glove but Belfour turned that one back, too.

But Green, whose line with Hilbert and Michael Nylander was sharp all night, came through in the clutch.

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