Maple Leafs crumble against Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson tries to clear the puck in front of Boston Bruins...

Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson tries to clear the puck in front of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Dec. 8, 2013. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:19 PM ET

TORONTO - Deleting six front-line players from the lineup does not declaw these Boston Bruins.

The team that ended Toronto’s last season is still giving them fits in the calendar year 2013, despite a wild week for the black and gold that forced some major line-juggling in the second of back-to-back games for both clubs. Boston bounced the Leafs 5-2 at the Air Canada Centre, its second win in as many regular season meetings this term.

The Leafs, so fortunate to escape the past two games with wins despite 50 shots against, couldn’t tell they were dealing with a different Boston deck with usual suspects Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron strong on the puck and turning any Leaf mistake into something productive.

Goaltending, which had been the Leafs saving grace, let them down a bit when Jonathan Bernier gave up a five-hole softie to callup Kevan Miller that gave Boston a 3-1 lead entering the third. But Bernier had no help from the top defensive pair of Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson with Toronto trying for the late-game comeback. The on-rushing Lucic found Jarome Iginla for the insurance. Bergeron added an empty-netter.

At least Toronto kept the shots to 40 while beating Bruin back-up Chad Johnson twice.


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