Wednesday May 8, 2013

TORONTO (AP) -- The day after a punishing playoff game that featured 99 hits, burly Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser was feeling it.

Not that he was complaining. Still it had to hurt a little more, given that Boston won Monday night’s game 5-2 to regain the upper hand in the series. The Bruins lead 2-1 going into Game 4 Wednesday night.

Despite the pain, the 26-year-old Fraser was in a good mood at Tuesday’s skate.

"Sometimes you might feel a bump or a bruise and you’re not even sure how you got it," the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder said after practice.

After a night when Boston outhit Toronto 51-49, Fraser was asked if he leapt out of bed Tuesday to head to the rink.

"Actually, today I did," he said with a grin. "A big part of that has been the significant change of the weather, the sunshine."

For Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, the summer-like day was a welcome reminder to his players that all is not lost, despite a second defeat in three games in their first playoff experience since 2004.

"I used to say everybody’s in doom and gloom, but the sun did come up today," the coach said. "It was sunny out there.

"That would be the way we’d want to flush things and turn the page on it. Today’s a new day. Let’s start. Let’s build. Let’s focus. All those things are things that we try to provide."

Carlyle and his coaching staff got a helping hand Tuesday when the clocks in the dressing room malfunctioned.


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They were six minutes off, meaning a group of Leafs arrived on the ice late for practice. They were greeted with some good-natured derision from teammates who made it on time.

"You can’t change what happened and that can’t really be your focus on what today brought," Carlyle said. "Today was about flushing what happened last night, recognizing what happened and then going into the preparation mode of tomorrow.

"Our focus has to be on what we can improve on for tomorrow night’s game. Can we improve on our turnovers? Can we improve on the out-and-out turnovers that led to their goals? Can we improve on our execution with the puck?

Carlyle has managed to keep his team poised off the ice in the midst of a playoff-starved, hockey-mad city. On the ice, he is bidding to mold a squad woefully short on playoff experience -- and one facing a playoff-savvy Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago.

Carlyle’s morning message to his squad was repeated by his players later in the day.

"For the most part we played a pretty good game," said winger Joffrey Lupul, an influential voice in the locker room. "We created a lot of chances. We definitely worked hard.

Boston’s Patrice Bergeron led the league in faceoff wins during the regular season, 62.1 percent. David Krejci ranked 15th.

Streit’s 2 goals lift Isles into 2-2 series tie

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- John Tavares scored with 9:49 left, and the New York Islanders tied their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night with a wild 6-4 victory.

Only the final lead was safe in Game 4.

Tavares slammed in his own rebound in front after Brad Boyes fed him following a turnover by Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. It was the Islanders’ third one-goal advantage in the game and the one that earned them a 2-2 tie in the highly entertaining series that has featured 5-4 and 6-4 finishes at Nassau Coliseum.

Game 5 is Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Kyle Turris’ OT goal lifts Senators, 3-2

OTTAWA (AP) -- Kyle Turris scored 2:32 into overtime, lifting the Ottawa Senators past the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 to grab a 3-1 lead in their playoff series Tuesday night.

Turris’ shot from the sideboards sneaked past Montreal backup goalie Peter Budaj, who came on for the injured Carey Price at the start of overtime.

Cory Conacher scored with 22.6 seconds to go in regulation to force overtime. Mika Zibanejad had the other goal for the Senators, who got 26 saves from Craig Anderson.

Game 5 goes Thursday night in Montreal in a series that has seen a little bit of everything.