BOSTON (AP) Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the weary Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night in a possible playoff matchup.

David Pastrnak, Trent Frederic, Morgan Geekie and Brandon Carlo scored to help Boston win for the 20th time at home this season. At 37-13-15, the Bruins trail Atlantic Division rival Florida by a point for the NHL lead.

“I thought we were really physical to start the game and finishing checks,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “I can’t give enough credit to our defense. They hold everyone accountable and everyone follows suit.”

Mitch Marner scored for Toronto, and Joseph Wall made 22 saves. The Maple Leafs were coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over Buffalo at home on Wednesday night. They are 10-3-0 in their last 13 - and 36-19-8 overall.

“They made it hard on us to create offense," Toronto defenseman Morgan Reilly said. "They manage the puck and don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk teamed up for Boston’s first goal that came with 17 seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 power play. Working it down low, DeBrusk zipped the puck past Woll, with Pastrnak wiring it in for his 39th goal. Brad Marchand was also credited with an assist on Pastrnak’s goal, one of two recorded by the Boston captain.

Frederic turned a Toronto turnover into a fast-break opportunity for his 17th goal and a two-goal lead 4:16 into the second period. The Maple Leafs got on the board when Marner took a pass off the boards and beat Swayman for his 25th goal.

“Just trying to get the long strides going and push hard,” Frederic said.

The Bruins entered the final period with a three-goal cushion thanks to Geekie converting on the power play and Carlo blasting one in from the blue line. The two goals came 1:07 apart.

“They’re a good team and found a way to bear down. You have to give them credit,” Toronto forward Max Domi said. “Look forward to playing them in the future, for sure.”

After leaving the ice to a chorus of boss after Tuesday’s overtime loss to Edmonton, the Bruins gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer, and not just because they posted a comfortable victory on a night when members of the franchise’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship team were in the building in conjunction with the team’s season-long centennial celebration.

Several times, Boston and Toronto engaged in skirmishes. The teams combined for 19 penalties that covered 30 minutes. At one point, Swayman stood near mid ice and challenged Woll to a goalie fight, but the Toronto netminder wanted no part of dropping the gloves.

“Probably didn’t call for that, but seeing all my guys go in, it’s a team effort and we all go in,” Swayman said. “(Woll)) is my buddy. It was an opportunity but nothing happened.”

Boston extended its winning streak to seven games against Toronto, which last beat the Bruins on Nov. 22, 2022. The teams met Monday night in Toronto, with Boston also winning 4-1.


Maple Leafs: At Montreal on Saturday night.

Bruins: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday.



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