Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson spits out water after giving up a goal to the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, March 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON - About the only bad news for the Boston Bruins in their 8-0 rout on Monday night is that they don't play the Toronto Maple Leafs again.
The Bruins completed a six-game sweep of the season series behind two goals from Benoit Pouliot, a goal and three assists from Brian Rolston and the fifth shutout of the season for Tim Thomas. Their superiority was so complete that after two periods they had as many goals—seven—as the Maple Leafs had shots.
And Boston outscored Toronto 36-10 this season.
"Sometimes you have a bit of luck on your side and you match up well against a team," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "By no means was the score indicative of the kind of games they were."
It was on Monday.
Boston led 4-0 just 13 minutes into the game and Thomas had to make only 13 saves, the fewest shots allowed by the Bruins since they gave up 13 to Pittsburgh on April 13, 2002. He got his second shutout of the Maple Leafs this season. He also was in net for a 7-0 rout, at Toronto on Nov. 5. The only one of the six games that the Bruins won by fewer than three goals was a 5-4 victory on March 6 in Toronto.
"I have never really seen anything like that (domination)," Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer said. "I'm not sure why one team has an advantage."
The Maple Leafs fell into a huge hole early, dropping behind 4-0 when Brad Marchand scored his 24th goal of the season just 12:42 into the game in a power play. That's when Reimer, who had stopped only five of nine shots, was replaced by Jonas Gustavsson.
He held Boston scoreless through the rest of the first period then gave up three goals in the second to Pouliot, his 12th of the season, Zdeno Chara and Rolston and one in the third to Tyler Seguin. Kelly, Gregory Campbell and Pouliot had scored Boston's first three goals. The third line of Kelly, Pouliot and Rolston accounted for four goals.
"We deserved a game like that because we went through a stretch there (when) it seemed everything went wrong," Rolston said after Boston's second win following a four-game losing streak. "We have a lot of depth."
Reimer's performance was a drastic decline from Toronto's previous two games, both wins, in which he stopped 63 of 65 shots. That followed a five-game losing streak that began with the March 6 loss to Boston.
"Goaltending falls right in line with the rest of our team," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "They didn't play to the level that was required. ... Your goaltender has to give you a chance, but your team has to help your goaltender and give him a chance."
In four of their wins over Toronto, Boston had lost three of its previous four games.
"They've all been pretty big games, especially in our eyes," forward Milan Lucic said of the matchups with the Maple Leafs. "We've been a pretty good team when it comes to rising to the occasion."
The Bruins, who increased their Northeast Division lead over Ottawa to three points with a game in hand, snapped their recent slide on Saturday with a 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
It was clear early Monday night that no shootout would be needed to decide the winner.
Kelly began the scoring with his 17th goal of the season 2:25 into the game. Pouliot passed the puck from the left corner to Kelly, who backhanded it past Reimer from just in front of the crease.
The Bruins made it 2-0 at 5:40 when Campbell scored his first goal with only his second point in 26 games. He picked up a loose puck behind the net and tucked it between Reimer's left pad and the post for his eighth goal of the season.
Just over five minutes later, Pouliot got his first goal of the game when he deflected Johnny Boychuk's slap shot from the right point after Rolston passed the puck to Boychuk.
Then Marchand made it 4-0 about two minutes later. Seguin fired a hard pass from the left corner across the slot to Marchand, who knocked the puck in at the right post.
Gustavsson allowed his first goal when he wandered behind the net to retrieve the puck and couldn't get back in time. Rolston got the puck in the left corner and fed Pouliot, who put it in the open right side.
Chara made it 6-0 on a power play with a hard shot from the blue line at 5:45 of the second period and Rolston got his fourth goal at 19:25 when he one-timed a pass from David Krejci to the top of the right circle. Seguin finished the scoring with 1:31 left in the game with his 26th goal.
"One mistake after another," Carlyle said. "It seemed like we were playing in our boots and they were playing in their skates."
NOTES: Claude Julien coached his 400th game for the Bruins, tying Don Cherry for third most in club history. ... Boston scored at least seven goals for the fourth time this season and has posted a shutout in each of them. ... Toronto is 3-6 since Carlyle became coach on March 2.