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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 12 (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (10-6-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-2), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins aim to extend their winning streak to six straight games as they begin a stretch of back-to-back contests against division rivals in Wednesday's encounter with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins kept their longest win streak of the season intact with Monday's 4-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils, a contest highlighted by a spectacular game-winning goal by Seth Griffith.
Griffith put the Bruins up 3-2 with 1:59 to play in the second period as he blocked a shot and raced up the ice into the New Jersey zone. The forward lost the puck as he tried to battle through a pair of Devils defenders and managed to backhand a shot through his own legs and in with his back to the net.
"It was big because we were definitely under pressure for maybe four, five minutes in a row," said Reilly Smith, who scored 1:20 after Griffith and also had an assist. "Griffith kind of changed that whole thing at the end of the period, which is nice because we weren't playing great hockey right there and that kind of changed the momentum at least."
Patrice Bergeron finished with a goal and two assists, while Carl Soderberg also scored. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.
The win finished off a perfect four-game homestand and has the Bruins in position to win six in a row for the first time since a 12-game run from March 2-22 of last season.
Boston also saw the return of defenseman Torey Krug, who had been out since suffering a broken finger against Minnesota on Oct. 28. However, forward David Krejci did not play for the third time in four games because of a lower-body injury and was not expected to travel with the Bruins for tonight's game or Wednesday's contest in Montreal.
With Boston set to play on back-to-back nights against Atlantic Division rivals, it is unknown if Rask will start tonight or if rookie backup Niklas Svedberg will get the call.
Rask is 10-2-0 with a 1.59 goals against average and .945 save percentage in 14 career games versus the Leafs, including 12 starts, while Svedberg has never faced them. He is 2-2-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .940 save percentage overall this season.
The Leafs are coming off Sunday's 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators in a game that was originally scheduled for Oct. 22 but postponed after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was tragically shot and killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill.
The win gave Toronto a second straight victory and points in six of its last seven (5-1-1).
Mike Santorelli netted a go-ahead short-handed tally in the second period as part of three unanswered goals for the Maple Leafs, while Peter Holland finished with a goal and an assist. James van Riemsdyk, Josh Leivo and David Clarkson added goals to support 37 saves by James Reimer.
"We kind of started off a bit slow," said Santorelli. "We kept climbing our way back and stuck with it."
Toronto was coming off a home win over the New York Rangers the previous night and is likely to go back to Jonathan Bernier in net tonight even though he is only 1-3-0 with a 4.46 GAA and .876 save percentage in five games against the Bruins.
Bernier made 21 saves before getting pulled in the third period of a 4-1 loss at home to the Bruins on Oct. 25.
Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists, while Krejci, Soderberg and Gregory Campbell scored. Rask made 32 saves in the Bruins' 12th victory in their last 15 versus the Maple Leafs and seventh in the last 10 trips to Toronto.
11/12 10:32:51 ET