Bruins 2, Maple Leafs 1
BOSTON (AP) _ Cam Neely tipped in a pass from Michael Thelven nine seconds into a third period power-play Thursday to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 season-opening NHL victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Neely, who assisted on Craig Janney’s goal in the first period, took Thelven’s pass to the left of the Toronto net and beating goalie Ken Wregget. Toronto was a man short after Brian Curran was called for slashiing.
Reggie Lemelin stopped 17 shots, missing on Daniel Marois’ shot at 2:26 of the first period, Marois’s first career goal and the first goal of the 1988-89 season.
Prior to the game, which was shifted to a late afternoon start to avoid a conflict with Game 2 of the American League playoffs at Fenway Park, the Bruins hoisted their 1988 Prince of Wales Conference championship banner.
Janney tied the game at 17:39 of the first period when Neely was able to fake Wregget toward him, and sent the puck to Janney, who had a clear shot at an open net from five feet.
Lemelin faced his toughest challenges in the second period, when the Maple Leafs had consecutive power plays.
After making it through a two-minute Boston bench penalty for too many men on the ice, Lemelin dug himself a hole with a two-minute roughing penalty when he got tangled with Marois. But the Bruins had the better offensive threats while shorthanded on the second penalty. The best opportunity came with about a minute remaining when Greg Johnston stole the puck and went in alone, but his 40-foot shot was wide.
On Marois’s goal, Vincent Damphousse took advantage of Garry Galley’s failure to clear the puck from Boston’s end. Damphousse passed the puck to Marois, who scored with a 25-foot shot.
Wregget faced 27 shots.