BOSTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs won in Boston again to force their playoff series to a sixth game.
Now they’ll need to finally win a game at home.
Tyler Bozak scored a shorthanded goal, Clarke MacArthur also scored and James Reimer stopped 43 shots to help Toronto beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Game 5 on Friday night and stay alive in their first-round playoff series.
Game 6 is Sunday in Toronto, and the Leafs would need a victory then to force a decisive seventh game back in Boston on Monday.
The Bruins won Games 3 and 4 in Toronto earlier in the series. Boston has not lost on the Leafs’ home ice in the playoffs since 1959.
“I’m sure that we’ve poked the Bruins,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “They’re going to be a very desperate team come Sunday night, and we have to be equally desperate.”
The Bruins actually turned desperate after falling behind 2-0. Toronto outshot Boston 19-8 in the first period and the edge was 25-12 in the second before the Bruins outshot the Leafs 32-8 the rest of the way — including 19-4 in the third.
“The third period was more like our team,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “If there’s anything you need to understand from this, it’s that we’ve got to play three periods like we did in the third if we’re going to close this off.”
Zdeno Chara scored for Boston to cut the deficit to it 2-1 with 8:48 left. The Leafs killed off a delay-of-game penalty in the last four minutes and then protected the lead when the Bruins pulled Tuukka Rask for an extra attacker with 1:11 left.
Rask made 31 saves.
“They’ve a good team, they’re a mature team and they’re an experienced team,” Reimer said. “Obviously they wanted to find a way to keep it from going back to Toronto. We were able to squeak it out.”
Only once in their history have the Leafs come back to win a playoff series after falling behind 3-1: In the 1942 Stanley Cup finals, when Toronto four straight to take the title after losing the first three games against Detroit. The Bruins are 15-2 in playoff series after taking a 3-1 lead, but they blew a 3-0 lead against Philadelphia in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals.
“We came in with the mindset to just get it back to Toronto to give ourselves a chance. We’ve done that,” MacArthur said. “We want to keep going. We’ve worked hard all year and I can see it starting to pay off.”
The Maple Leafs opened a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal in the second period when Tyler Bozak got around Andrew Ference for a breakaway and then went in alone on Rask with 8:33 left. They made it 2-0 on another Bruins mistake, taking advantage of Johnny Boychuk’s giveaway that led to MacArthur’s goal.
That’s when the Bruins began applying relentless pressure, turning around what had been a 19-8 advantage in shots after one period. Boston outshot Toronto 36-14 the rest of the way, including a backhander from Jaromir Jagr that appeared to barely nick Reimer’s right shoulder before passing over the crossbar with 11.1 seconds left.