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Maple Leafs sweep weekend series over Bruins
BOSTON -- Frederik Andersen is 9-0 with a 1.88 goals against average and .944 save percentage lifetime against the Boston Bruins.
After backstopping Toronto’s 3-2 overtime win over Boston Friday night, it was time for Andersen to rest.
Enter Curtis McElhinney.
“If you look at it, he’s 2-1 if I‘m not mistaken,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said after McElhinney made 38 saves in his third start of the season to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory and a sweep of their Original Six home-and-home weekend series with the Bruins on Saturday night.
Toronto’s fourth straight win gave the Bruins a three-game losing streak.
McElhinney’s last start was at Los Angeles Nov. 2 and things didn’t go well.
“The LA game was tough,” he said. “It’s always tough when you’re down 3-0 in the first. I think unlike the LA game it was get through the first 10 minutes. We weathered the storm early and went from there. I saw a lot of pucks tonight and they did a great job of tying rebounds up.”
James van Riemsdyk, who scored twice Friday, had a goal and an assist. He has 14 goals, the most he has against any team, and 24 points in 30 career games against Boston.
Mitch Marner, defenseman Morgan Rielly and Patrick Marleau (empty net) also scored for the Leafs (12-7-0), who have won the last six games against Boston.
“I thought we did lots of good things,” Babcock said. “When you have the lead, you can be efficient. I thought we did a good job clogging up inside.”
The Bruins, who are 0-3-3 against the Eastern Conference, had a two-man advantage for 1:07 in the third and managed one shot on goal.
“You’ve got make better decisions and take control with it,” Boston’s Torey Krug said. “It’s something we’ve got to fix.”
Tuukka Rask (3-6-2) gave up two goals on the first five shots (against the team that drafted him) and finished with 21 saves.
“You need points,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Last night we’re a minute away and couldn’t close. Tonight we were there. If you continue to play hard, things will go your way.”
Defenseman Brandon Carlo threw a blind pass up the middle in front of his own end that was picked off by Marner, who snapped home his first goal in 18 games (he has 10 assists).
“We wanted to come out and make our presence felt and I think that’s what we did,” Marner said.
The Leafs went on the power play later in the period and struck quickly, with Nazem Kadri finding van Riemsdyk’s stick for a deflection after getting scoring position on Zdeno Chara.
Strong work in the corner by Danton Heinen kept the puck alive for Vatrano to tip home Krug’s shot 62 seconds after the van Riemsdyk goal.
Rielly, who has 15 points, scored with Carlo screening Rask after the Leafs killed their two-man disadvantage. Marleau followed his OT winner from Friday with the empty netter, a tap-in off a nifty feed from Zach Hyman.
”I was the Achilles heel tonight,“ Carlo said. ”A couple of my mistakes end up in the back of the net. If I don’t make those maybe it’s a different story. “I had a bad night.”
Krug said the toughest part of the two losses was that it came within the Atlantic Division.
“It’s a big swing, a division opponent,” he said.
NOTES: Toronto C Auston Matthews missed his third straight game with an upper body injury, the first three games he’s missed in his young career. ... The Bruins have still had C’s Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on the ice together for only two periods this season. ... Toronto LW Matt Martin was credited with seven hits, including a cruncher in Anders Bjork, while C Leo Komorov had six. LW Matt Beleskey led the Bruins with six and he and Martin fought, probably because of the hit on Bjork. ... The Bruins, who have played 10 of their first 16 games at home (5-3-2), open a four-game western trip at Anaheim Wednesday while Toronto hosts the New Jersey Devils Thursday. ... A pre-game moment of silence was held to honor U.S. Veterans Day and Canada Remembrance Day.