Lucic leads Bruins past Leafs in shootout win
The last time that Milan Lucic scored a goal (Feb. 24 at Florida), the 2013 Oscars hadn’t even happened yet (they were later that night). After a 14-game drought, Lucic found his long-lost scoring touch Monday as the Bruins rallied from an 0-2 deficit for an exciting 3-2 shootout win over the Maple Leafs at TD Garden. With the win Boston (21-7-3) avenged a 3-2 loss in Toronto (17-12-4) on Saturday night and closed out the regular season series (3-1) with the Maple Leafs (17-12-4).
Head coach Claude Julien shuffled his forward lines, something he uses as a last resort, and it paid off after a slow start. Toronto got a power-play goal from Joffrey Lupul early in the second period and Nikolai Kulemin added a goal on a breakaway for a surprising 2-0 lead. Lucic scored on a pretty backhander to cut it to 2-1 midway through the frame. Patrice Bergeron tied it in the third period on a backhander after a heads up pass from Dougie Hamilton (snapping his 10-game scoreless streak).
Tuukka Rask’s (23 saves; 15-4-3) stuffed Nazem Kadri and Kulemin in the shootout while Tyler Seguin and Bergeron beat James Reimer (27 saves) to clinch a vital two points for the B’s. With the victory, Boston pulls into a tie with Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference (behind Pittsburgh).
The Canadiens come to Boston on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network) for a huge matchup, rife with playoff implications.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate