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Bruins Rake Leafs


For Kyle McLaren and the Boston Bruins, it was about time the puck took a bounce in their favor.

After nearly blowing a 3-0 lead, McLaren scored on a 75-foot slap shot from beyond the blue line with 6:26 remaining to give the Bruins a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

"Usually I dump them in, but for some reason I decided to shoot it on net," McLaren said. "I can't even tell you why, but I was just lucky it went in. Usually the breaks go the other teams' way."

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  • Byron Dafoe made 19 saves and Sergei Samsonov, Cameron Mann and Joe Thornton added goals for Boston, which won for just the second time at home in 12 games.

    Toronto's three-game winning streak ended with the loss.

    Boston took a 1-0 lead just 4:29 into the game when Samsonov beat Toronto goalie Curtis Joseph with a back-hander on the power play. Darren Van Impe and Ray Bourque assisted on the goal.

    The Bruins went ahead 2-0 when Mann, recalled from Providence of the AHL earlier in the day, scored his first goal of the season on a one-timer from Andre Savage midway into the first period.

    "We weren't good early and there were bonehead plays by the defense," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We got dow so fast, we didn't even have time to think."

    The Maple Leafs, who fell behind 2-0 in six of their last nine games and fought back to win or tie five of them, weren't able to come back against the Bruins.

    "It's tough mentally to battle back when you get behind like that every game," Joseph said. "This is a good time for everybody to take a break. We haven't been playing our best."

    After Thornton's 14th goal gave Boston a three-goal advantage, Dafoe's shutout bid came to an end 4:47 into the third. Mats Sundin scored his team-leading 25th goal on a shot from the slot to make it 3-1.

    Less than two minutes later, Toronto's Mike Johnson's shot from inside the point deflected off McLaren and snuck into the corner of the net past Dafoe.

    But McLaren made up for it when his long slap shot slipped between Joseph's pads to put the game away.

    "That was a good break and a tough shot," Bourque said. "It got deflected and dropped about two feet."

    Joseph finished with 20 saves.

    The Bruins played without veteran forward Joe Murphy, who was suspended without pay Thursday until further notice as punishment for what the club said was an act of insubordination.

    Murphy was involved in an argument with Bruins coach Pat Burns.

    "There were no distractions," McLaren said. "Murph is a good player and to lose a player of his skill is going to be tough. But we believe in our coach. I stick behind our coach."

    Burns was reluctant to comment on the situation.

    "This has been going on for a couple of weeks now and the whole thing has been settled and we're going to move on," Burns said.

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