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Bruins thump Leafs in Boston

Saturday, 11.01.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
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Bruins thump Leafs in Boston
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BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins righted themselves just in time to climb back into second place in the Northeast Division.

Glen Murray scored his 23rd goal and set up two others as the Bruins ended a five-game losing streak with a 6-2 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Boston was winless in 12 of its previous 14 games to fall two points behind Toronto in the division. With captain Joe Thornton in and out of a hospital for treatment of an infected elbow, the Bruins produced their best offensive effort in nearly two months.

Six different players scored for Boston, which broke open a tight game with four goals in the third period.

"We all believe in the guys in this locker room. It doesn't matter who is out of the lineup," Bruins center Brian Rolston said. "Obviously, it is a big, big hole. (The Maple Leafs) have been playing very well of late and their goaltending has been doing terrific. That was big for us to come back."

Murray got the go-ahead tally at 5:44. Rookie Andy Hilbert threw a pass out of the right corner and Murray leaned into a one-timer at the top of the slot that ticked off the stick of Toronto's Travis Green and eluded goaltender Ed Belfour.

"We kept working hard," Murray said. "We put up a 60-minute effort, a whole game effort. It did not look good after they got the two power-play goals, but we kept working and it paid off."

Defenseman Nick Boynton made it 4-2 with 5:23 remaining when he ripped a low slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic for his third goal of the season and first in 15 games.

Jozef Stumpel padded the lead just 93 seconds later off a drop pass from Murray and Rolston added a shorthanded goal into an empty net with 72 seconds to play.

The six goals were the most by Boston since a 7-2 victory over Calgary on November 26. The Bruins were coming off Friday's 4-2 loss at last-place Buffalo.

"Obviously, after what happened last night, it feels good to win," Boston winger Mike Knuble said. "I forgot how good it feels to win in this league."

Alexander Mogilny tallied twice for the Maple Leafs, who had a three-game winning streak snapped with just their third loss in 12 contests (7-3-2).

"We were not a smart team at all tonight," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We played a team having a bad time and we came out and screwed around with the puck tonight. We screwed around and gave them the puck back. We were just not a very smart hockey team tonight."

Boston's P.J. Axelsson opened the scoring midway through the first period, but Mogilny put Toronto in front in a 76-second span of the second.

On the power play, defenseman Robert Svehla whipped a pass from the top of the right circle to Mogilny. Goaltender Steve Shields thought Svehla would shoot and was not in position to stop Mogilny's wrist shot from low in the left circle.

Just over a minute later, Mogilny strolled unchecked through the slot and whipped a rebound of Jonas Hoglund's shot past Shields for his team-best 20th goal.

But Knuble tied it at 8:27 with his ninth goal, surpassing his total for all of last season. After gathering a rebound at the bottom of the right circle, he moved through the crease, deked to his backhand and shoveled the puck over Belfour.

"It kinda hit Belfour, then it got away from him a little bit, then I kinda was too far from him to poke-check it away," Knuble said.

"It all started with his (screwing) around in the mid-ice area, not making them beat us," Quinn said. "We are beating ourselves. It is pretty hard to win a hockey game when you are beating yourself all night long."

When the Leafs weren't beating themselves, Shields had a hand with 18 saves.

"They had their whole lineup in there pretty much tonight and I did not see the puck very much," Shields said. "That is probably one of the hardest games I have played in a long time."
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