D rules for B's

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Maple Leafs weren't given enough room to complete a high five, let alone win a season-high fifth straight game.

The buzzsaw Boston Bruins were on their tails from the drop of the puck in scratching out a 2-1 win at the Air Canada Centre last night, halting a Leaf surge in which the team had gained nine of a possible 10 points.

During that time, the Leafs cancelled the death watch on general manager John Ferguson and/or coach Paul Maurice, but a fifth victory, matching last year's best run, was not to be. The Leafs also missed an opportunity to pass the Bruins in the standings and get back in the top eight in the Eastern Conference.

POWER-PLAY FAILURE

Boston brushed off an early Jason Blake goal and snuffed six Toronto power plays. Two Boston minors elapsed without the Leafs managing a shot, including one to open the third period.

New Bruins goalie Alex Auld, acquired earlier in the week when a string of injuries to Boston netminders culminated with the loss of Tim Thomas, got the start ahead of ex-Toronto No. 1 draft pick Tuukka Rask, who won here in his NHL debut last month.

Auld looked rusty at 10:28 of the first period, when Hal Gill and Pavel Kubina worked the puck up the left side to a streaking Blake, who took a wrist shot that fooled Auld on the blocker side. But the Boston goalie improved as the game went on, making a huge pad stop on Nik Antropov, who was coming off a hat trick Thursday in New York.

LEAF PRESSURE

Toronto's attempt to take a 2-0 lead for the fifth straight game was thwarted near the end of a Kubina penalty in the first period.

Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston for his third goal and fourth point in three games against Toronto this year to even the score at 1-1.

Leaf defenceman Hal Gill was pressured off the puck in the second period and the Bruins capitalized, scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal when Dennis Wideman put a shot through traffic past Vesa Toskala.

Fully aware of what they had to do at that point, the Leafs pressed for the balance of the period, with one of their closest calls a Chad Kilger feed to a storming Wade Belak, who failed to tip in his second goal in three games after a four-year drought.

The Leafs kept buzzing. Darcy Tucker had his close-in chance blocked by Aaron Ward, a Bryan McCabe blast came off Auld at a weird angle but stayed out of the net and Mats Sundin hammered a power-play chance into Antropov's mid-section, giving the hottest Leaf scorer no chance to deflect it.


Videos

Photos