Krejci nets hat trick, helps Bruins outslug Maple Leafs

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By Mike Petraglia

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- A blowout turned into a shootout.

In a game that featured eight goals in the second period and

three goaltender changes, the Boston Bruins outlasted the

Toronto Maple Leafs, 8-5, Thursday night in a battle of

"Original Six" rivals at TD Banknorth Garden.

David Krejci recorded his first career hat trick and Phil Kessel

notched two goals and an assist to extend his scoring streak to

16 games, helping the Bruins win their 12th straight on home

ice.

"It was a nice offensive game, but we didn't play our best

hockey," Krejci said. "There were a few chances on the power

play and I was just lucky to get a few bounces to go my way."

"First time we saw Krejci here, we thought it was time to send

him back down to Providence," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

"I don't think we'll be sending him down anytime soon."

The Bruins were 4-for-6 on the power play, giving their offense

momentum.

"Anytime you get power plays like that, it's going to help your

offense feel confident out there," Kessel said.

"Our power play came up big tonight and we needed it in a game

like that," coach Julien said. "I think offensively, we did a

lot of good things. You have to be happy we won the game. One

of our coaches said after the game that we bent but didn't

break. That's the best way to describe it."

Marc Savard had a goal and three assists and Michael Ryder and

Marco Strum scored for Boston, which built a four-goal lead

before holding on for the win.

Alexei Ponikarovsky, Nik Antropov and defenseman Pavel Kubina

each scored a goal and set up another for Toronto, which also

netted four goals in the second period.

Jason Blake and Mikhail Grabovski also tallied and defenseman

Jeff Finger notched two assists for the Maple Leafs.

Sturm, who missed the previous 12 games for Boston with

concussion-like symptoms, wasted little time making an impact in

his first game back.

He collected his own rebound and flipped a backhand over the

sprawling Vesa Toskala for his seventh goal of the season just

36 seconds into the game. His time on the ice, however, didn't

last long as he twisted his knee when he collided with the

boards behind the Boston net with 6:23 remaining in the first

and did not return.

The Bruins capitalized on their first power play chance of the

game at 4:34 when Krejci netted his ninth. Maple Leafs coach

Ron Wilson pulled Toskala in favor of veteran Curtis Joseph, who

was appearing in just his seventh game this season.

"You're going to be put through different kinds of tests through

the year," Julien said. "Tonight, one of the tests we failed was

playing with a big lead. But the guys responded in the third

and Manny came up with the big saves we needed in the third."

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson pulled Toskala in favor of veteran

Curtis Joseph, who was appearing in just his seventh game this

season.

"It had more to do with just changing the momentum and it worked

for a while," Wilson said of his early hook for Toskala.

"Unfortunately, 'CuJo' couldn't get the job done in the second

period and when we got ourselves back in that position where it

was 6-5, I went back with Vesa.

The Maple Leafs drew to within 2-1 after one period when Kubina

scored his sixth of the season on the power play.

The Bruins appeared to put the game on ice when they opened the

second with three goals in the first 4:21 of the period,

including tallies by Savard and Krejci 35 seconds apart in the

opening two minutes.

But the Maple Leafs made a furious rally, started when

Ponikarovsky scored his ninth of the season at 8:36 of the

period. Antropov netted his 12th just 80 seconds later to cut

the deficit to two. and Grabovski also tallied.

"I don't know if it was that wide open," Wilson said. "We made a

few mistakes and the puck wound up in the net."

Kessel responded with his second of the period and career-best

21st of the season to put Boston back up by two. But lake scored

on the power play to cap off the eight-goal period.

Manny Fernandez replaced Boston's Tim Thomas in net to start the

third period while Toskala re-entered the game to start the

third.

"We never gave up and kept throwing the puck at the net and

found at the net," Wilson said. "When you see that many goalies

play, Fernandez actually came in and made the difference in the

game because we dominated the first six or seven minutes of the

third period.

"Then he made a few big saves and then they scored the power

play goal - and the game was basically over at that point."

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