When the Toronto Maple Leafs scored with 5:08 left in the third period, you could almost sense what was coming.

No longer was a Bruins third-period lead a safe one. That's the knee-jerk reaction, at least, after two-straight losses that saw third-period leads crumble.

Bigger picture, and those losses to Montreal and Washington were nothing more than part of what Claude Julien called "the peaks and valleys" of a season, following Thursday night's 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden.

Because even though the Maple Leafs cut the Bruins' lead to 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, they were able to score an empty-netter and prevent another late collapse.

And they were able to do it with their backup goaltender between the pipes.

"You have to continue playing," said Anton Khudobin after the win. "It doesn't matter when it's 3-2. It could be 3-2 after the second period. You just have to continue playing.

"We were leading 3-2. It's no panic. What was there five minutes left, six minutes left? No panic. You just have to continue playing."

Khudobin made 25 saves in picking up his fourth win of the season. And even though he allowed a late third-period goal, he wasn't shaky on this night.

Jay McClement re-directed a Mikhail Grabovski shot from the left circle that made it a one-goal game in the third, but the late deflection minimized Khudobin's chances of stopping it.