TORONTO — The Boston Bruins ended a five-game losing streak, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Saturday night in front of a crowd of 19,185 at Air Canada Centre.
Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Matt Beleskey had the goals for the Bruins, who raised their record to 40-28-8. They now have 88 points on the season, third in the Atlantic Division.
The Leafs, last in the National Hockey League with 65 points, dropped to 27-36-11. The Leafs, who ended a six-game homestand, came into the game with three consecutive wins and victories in five of their last six games. Ben Smith had the lone Leafs goal.
Boston is battling with Tampa and Florida for first in the Atlantic.
The Bruins had been atop the division before the five-game slide. The Bruins' scoring dried up during the losing skein because of a lack of production from some of their key offensive players.
But Boston has been tough on the road, increasing their record to 24-11-3.
Tuukka Rask, drafted 21st overall by the Leafs in 2005, backstopped the Bruins. He has had great success in his career against Toronto, increasing his record to 15-3-2 against the Leafs.
Jonathan Bernier took the loss for Toronto, only his second in his last five games. Bernier had a 1.27 goals-against average and .958 save percentage in his previous four starts.
Leaf coach Mike Babcock pulled Bernier inside the final three minutes of the game for an extra attacker. The Leafs had some close chances, but were assessed a two-minute minor on P.A. Parenteau.
Beleskey scored into the empty Leaf net to seal the deal for the Bruins at 19:10. Fisticuffs erupted after the goal.
The Leafs enjoyed a resurgence in their last 10 games with production from many of the rookies they had called up after the NHL trade deadline.
NOTES: Leafs RW Michael Grabner has been playing on the top line with C Nazem Kadri and RW Milan Michalek in recent games. He had played on the fourth line for the most part this season, his first with Toronto. … RW Brad Boyes returned to the Leafs' lineup after missing eight games because of a shoulder injury. … Leaf C Tyler Bozek played his second game after missing 21 because of a concussion. He scored two goals in his return to the lineup. … Bruins D John-Michael Liles, a former Leaf, missed the game because of a lower-body injury sustained Thursday in a game against Florida. D Joe Morrow, who had been a scratch the last six games, replaced him. He was paired with Dennis Seidenberg. … Leaf LW Leo Komarov missed his fifth consecutive game because of a lower body injury and is expected to be sidelined another 10 days. … Rookie Nikita Soshnikov, who had been playing on Komarov's line, missed his third consecutive game with a lower body injury. He had five points in 11 games since his call-up from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. … Leafs demoted LW Josh Leivo to the Marlies on Friday. He has five goals in 12 games with the parent club.