No one can say James Reimer does not have a sense of occasion.

Throughout the Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff series with the Boston Bruins, the Leafs goaltender was never terrible but not great, either. At the other end of the ice, Tuukka Rask of the Bruins was superb. He was making a case in every game as the series MVP as the Bruins took control.

So the Leafs desperately needed Reimer to outplay Rask on Friday, with elimination staring them in the face. But once again Rask was outstanding, making himself the immovable object the resilient Leafs slammed into over the first 30 minutes of the game.

Then Reimer stepped up to seize the evening. Midway through the second period, Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron wound up with the puck and perhaps the game on his stick. He had the left side of the net open and fired. But Reimer did the splits, stretched his legs to their utmost and got a toe on the shot.

A goal there and this game could have gone the way so many do when one team outshoots and outplays another only to get its back broken by a soft or lucky goal.

Two minutes later, Tyler Bozak finally broke the Rask mystique with a shorthanded breakaway goal and the Leafs were in position for what turned out to be a 2-1 win that kept the Leafs alive in the series with the Bruins’ lead cut to 3-2. But all agreed they would not have been there without Reimer.

“We get that goal, it’s a different game,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.

“That was a big momentum boost for us,” Leafs defenceman Cody Franson said. “When he’s making saves like that we really feed off that.”

The self-effacing Reimer, who said his groin muscles were just fine after that mighty stretch, typically said he wasn’t sure just how he made that save.