NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (5-1-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will aim for their first three-game
winning streak in a year when they host the rival Boston Bruins in Saturday's
Northeast Division battle at Air Canada Centre.
With recent victories over Buffalo and Washington, the Maple Leafs are on
their first winning streak of 2013. The last time Toronto won three in a row
was from Feb. 1-6 of last season, but the Leafs followed that modest winning
streak with a 2-13-2 stretch to effectively end their playoff hopes for a
seventh straight spring.
Boston, meanwhile, will try to rebound from its first regulation loss of the
season. The Bruins were 5-0-1 on the year before getting dealt a 7-4 loss on
Thursday by the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins figure to have an excellent chance at getting back on track in
Toronto. Boston swept all six games in the season series in 2011-12 and
outscored the Leafs by a 36-10 margin along the way.
All told, Boston has won nine of 13 and 19 of the last 26 encounters in this
series overall and Toronto has dropped three straight on home ice.
After posting an overtime win Tuesday in Buffalo, the Maple Leafs recorded
another win two nights later against the visiting Capitals. Toronto trailed
Washington by a 2-1 count after 40 minutes, but Nikolai Kulemin and Matt
Frattin each netted a goal in the third period to lift the Leafs to victory.
James van Riemsdyk also scored for Toronto, while James Reimer stopped 20
"We played great as a team today. If there was a game we deserved to win it
was this one," Reimer said. "I thought tonight our whole team just battled
hard and we deserved it tonight."
The comeback win was Toronto's first victory in three games (1-2-0) at Air
Canada Centre this season.
Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek (eye) and forward Clarke MacArthur
(finger) are questionable for Saturday's game. Forward Mike Brown is expected
to miss the contest with a shoulder injury.
The Bruins allowed Thomas Vanek to record a hat trick and a five-point night
in Thursday's 7-4 setback to the Sabres. Boston actually took a 4-3 lead early
in the third period before Buffalo tallied four unanswered goals for the
Brad Marchand scored twice in the loss while Rich Peverley and David Krejci
added a goal apiece. Tuukka Rask was tagged for six goals on 31 shots in
defeat, as Boston surrendered its most goals in one game thus far in 2013.
"We had lots of scoring chances, we had lots of shots ... when we score four
goals, we usually win," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "(It was)
uncharacteristic of our hockey club. We'll make some corrections tomorrow, and
try and solidify our defensive play again."
Saturday's game is Boston's third road test of the season. The Bruins, who
won't play again until visiting Montreal on Wednesday, are 1-0-1 as the guest.
Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron (shoulder) and Daniel Paille (eye) are
questionable for Saturday's game. Bergeron was injured after wiping out into
the boards during Thursday's game, but he was able to finish the contest.
Paille took a stick to the eye on Thursday and didn't return.
Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton was also injured in the loss to Buffalo as he
sustained a concussion during a fight with Buffalo's John Scott. Thornton is
expected to miss at least a week of action with the head injury.
02/02 10:29:00 ET