DAL
12-13-5
TOR
19-10-3

Bozak at center of Maple Leafs' win against Stars

Mike Brophy  - NHL.com Correspondent | Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 11:06 PM

TORONTO -- Tyler Bozak scored his 12th goal of the season, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 win against the Dallas Stars at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

It was Bozak's sixth goal in the past four games, and Toronto is 2-for-2 on its five-game homestand.

Bozak, at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, does not have the build of a prototypical top-line NHL center, yet he fits in nicely playing between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk.

"I think I'm used to it now," Bozak said about the discussion regarding his spot on the Maple Leafs' depth chart. "It's been five years of the same thing over and over again. I'm surprised they don't get sick of talking about it.

"I'm playing where I am, the team is doing well, and I am doing well. Hopefully we can just stay consistent and keep it up."

Bozak is solid in the faceoff circle, smart at both ends of the ice and is the line's defensive conscience.

The Maple Leafs decided to match their top line against the Stars' top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky to start the game, and the strategy worked.

Toronto got control of the puck off the opening faceoff, worked it into the Dallas zone, and Bozak scored on the first shot, beating Kari Lehtonen at 27 seconds.

Toronto made it 2-0 at 15:16 when center Nazem Kadri took a drop pass from right wing Mike Santorelli and wristed a shot from the top of the left circle that hit the near post before entering the net. It was Kadri's sixth goal of the season and first in five games.

The Maple Leafs (13-8-3) opened the second period on the power play and took advantage, going up 3-0. With Hemsky in the penalty box for slashing, Kessel's low snap shot from 20 feet found its way past Lehtonen at 56 seconds.

Jason Spezza put Dallas on the board with his fifth goal of the season at 5:06, when his long, high slap shot eluded Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier.

A minute after a Kessel shot hit the crossbar, Toronto left wing Joffrey Lupul scored his fourth goal of the season when he put a rebound past Lehtonen at 9:31.

Dallas left wing Ryan Garbutt, who returned form a two-game suspension for kneeing Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, scored his fourth goal of the season at 2:11 of the third period. With each team playing a man short, Garbutt got a rebound in front of the net and stuffed it past Bernier.

Lupul responded with his second when he found himself standing at the side of the goal with Lehtonen down. The puck squirted to Lupul and he tapped it in at 5:20.

The Stars (9-11-5) had an opportunity to get back into the game when they were given a two-man advantage for 1:30 at 7:23 of the third period but they failed to attempt a shot on goal during the power play.

Dallas did score again at 15:25 when Hemsky, standing in front of the Toronto net, took a pass from Shawn Horcoff behind the goal and put a high shot past Bernier.

Stars left wing Erik Cole said falling behind in the first minute of the game put his team behind the 8-ball.

"We had to play catch up all night," Cole said. "It's hard enough to win games when you give the other team two- and three-goal leads. We're working hard, but we still need to do a lot of things better with the puck. We did a lot of good stuff tonight, but there is still a lot more we could do and we could make fewer errors."

Cole said he still believes in the Stars.

"We can be a great team," Cole said. "I have seen us play great games through stretches through the season, just not consistently enough. It's here, but we need to figure it out and play the game that is going to make us successful as a group. When we play our game we can frustrate other teams and we won't give as much on offense and it'll take pressure off our goaltending."

The Maple Leafs host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
00:27TOR James van Riemsdyk (10) ASST: Tyler Bozak (12), Dion Phaneuf (11) 1 - 0 TOR
15:16TOR Nazem Kadri (6) ASST: Mike Santorelli (11), Cody Franson (12) 2 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
00:56TOR PPG - Phil Kessel (12) ASST: Dion Phaneuf (12), Nazem Kadri (7) 3 - 0 TOR
05:06DAL Jason Spezza (5) ASST: Erik Cole (4), Jamie Oleksiak (3) 3 - 1 TOR
09:31TOR Joffrey Lupul (4) ASST: Cody Franson (13), Mike Santorelli (12) 4 - 1 TOR
3rd Period
02:11DAL Ryan Garbutt (4) ASST: Alex Goligoski (10), John Klingberg (6) 4 - 2 TOR
05:20TOR Joffrey Lupul (5) ASST: Nazem Kadri (8), Mike Santorelli (13) 5 - 2 TOR
15:25DAL Ales Hemsky (2) ASST: Shawn Horcoff (6), Alex Goligoski (11) 5 - 3 TOR
Three Stars of the Game
Nazem Kadri
1st
Nazem Kadri
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 17:36
Joffrey Lupul
2nd
Joffrey Lupul
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 14:27
Mike Santorelli
3rd
Mike Santorelli
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 3Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 15:14
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:46DAL Vernon Fiddler  Roughing against  Dion Phaneuf
13:00TOR Richard Panik  Hooking against  Vernon Fiddler
17:20TOR Dion Phaneuf  Tripping against  Patrick Eaves
19:27DAL Ales Hemsky  Slashing against  Nazem Kadri
2nd Period
07:00DAL Jason Spezza  Hi-sticking against  Joffrey Lupul
16:03DAL Cody Eakin  Hi-sticking against  Dion Phaneuf
16:51DAL Antoine Roussel  Roughing against  James van Riemsdyk
3rd Period
01:12DAL Cody Eakin  Hi-sticking against  David Clarkson
02:07TOR Mike Santorelli  Tripping against  Vernon Fiddler
06:53TOR Stephane Robidas  Holding against  Jason Spezza
07:23TOR Peter Holland  Hi-sticking against  Jamie Benn
19:10DAL Jamie Benn  Hi-sticking against  Dion Phaneuf
shots by period
PeriodDALTOR
1st1514
2nd1016
3rd1310
Total3840
Team Stats
CategoryDALTOR
Power Plays0/51/7
Hits2532
Faceoff Wins3830
Giveaways1316
Takeaways415
Blocked Shots1016
Penalty Minutes1410
  • DALLAS
  • TORONTO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3J. KlingbergD0132019:54
4J. DemersD00-23021:38
5J. OleksiakD0112012:13
6T. DaleyD00-21022:01
10S. HorcoffC0110012:37
14J. BennL00-35220:43
16R. GarbuttL1014014:02
18P. EavesR001108:50
20C. EakinC0001415:53
21A. RousselL0002216:56
24J. BennD00-20017:42
27T. MoenL00-1106:23
33A. GoligoskiD0201022:51
38V. FiddlerC00-10210:52
72E. ColeL0121015:12
83A. HemskyR10-14214:32
90J. SpezzaC1004217:50
91T. SeguinC00-36020:13
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
32K. Lehtonen3540.87557:19
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3D. PhaneufD0212226:32
4C. FransonD0201022:30
12S. RobidasD0002215:51
18R. PanikR000225:39
19J. LupulL2014014:27
20D. BoothL000106:11
21J. van RiemsdykL1014021:09
23T. SmithC000008:15
24P. HollandC00-10214:11
25M. SantorelliC0331215:14
26D. WinnikC00-11017:35
42T. BozakC0102021:33
43N. KadriC1226017:36
44M. RiellyD0011013:01
51J. GardinerD0003018:34
55K. HolzerD0002018:58
71D. ClarksonR00-12011:41
81P. KesselR1006021:05
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
45J. Bernier3538.92159:58