It seemed to work.
Nazem Kadri and Mike Santorelli each scored in the shootout, lifting the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
Phil Kessel had a goal and his 200th assist with Toronto. Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won for just the second time in their last seven games.
"It was one of those games where I felt our hockey club played more to the lines of where it would be required on a consistent basis," he said. "We needed it. That's for sure. The one thing we tried to preach to our group was there has to be a 'Stop Sign' to what we were doing. We were playing too loose. We can't continue to play no-touch hockey and that's what we felt we were playing."
Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist. David Krejci and Torey Krug also scored for Boston, which is 3-1-1 in its last five.
Santorelli beat Tuukka Rask in the opening round of the shootout, but Krug tied it on Boston's second chance.
Kadri beat Rask with a backhander and goalie Jonathan Bernier dove at Boston's final shooter, Krejci, poking the puck away.
"I just got a stick on it, but he missed on it," Bernier said.
Boston had three excellent chances in overtime, but couldn't get it past Bernier, who missed both of the previous games with the flu.
"I tried to drink as much water as possible," he said. "In the third period they kept the puck in our zone and I was feeling a little dizzy there."
The Bruins trailed 3-1 before scoring twice 2:03 apart in the final five minutes of second period.
But that wasn't enough for them to be satisfied.
"Anytime you don't get the result, you do feel like that," centre Patrice Bergeron said. "If you look back at it, we didn't get the start we wanted and it could have been the game right there if you have a better start."
Krejci's goal sliced it to 3-2 with 4:32 left when he fired a shot that hit defenceman Cody Franson's stick and hopped over goaltender Bernier's shoulder into the net.
Krug's shot from the left point hit two Toronto players near the crease before it trickled across the goal line.
"We didn't have a good start," Bruins coach Claude Julien said "We need to play more of a 60-minute type of game."
The Bruins tied the game 1-1 just 17 seconds into the second on Soderberg's power-play goal, but the Maple Leafs moved back in front 31 seconds later on van Riemsdyk's goal. Kessel centred a pass from the right circle that van Riemsdyk redirected between Rask's pads, giving the winger his 200th assist.
Toronto then moved ahead 3-1 on Kessel's power-play score at 9:45 when he fired a wrist shot from the right circle that caromed in off the inside of the far post.
Kessel had a penalty shot late in the first after he was hooked by Zdeno Chara. Rask poked the puck away as he was shifting to a backhand shot. Rask also robbed Kessel with a left-pad stop on a clean break-in midway into the second.
Toronto jumped ahead 1-0 midway into the opening period when Komarov, out since Nov. 29 with a concussion, scored on a wrist shot from the slot.
NOTES: Bruins LW Milan Lucic and Bergeron were both back after missing the last game with undisclosed injuries. ... Toronto RW Joffrey Lupul left with an undisclosed injury. Caryle said he'll be heading back to Toronto for an MRI on his "lower body." ... With no morning skate due to an NBA game between the Celtics-Sacramento during the afternoon, Bruins players were on exercise bikes outside the locker room about nine hours before faceoff. ... It was the fifth of seven games on the road for Toronto due the World Juniors being held in the Air Canada Centre. ... Boston F Loui Eriksson played his 600th career game. ... The Maple Leafs next play at Minnesota on Friday. ... Boston is off until Saturday when it hosts Ottawa.Suggest a correction