Leafs Set To Host Bruins Tonight
BRUINS (5-1-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (4-3-0)
TV: CBC, RDS, NHLN-US, NESN
Season series: This is the first of four meetings between the Northeast Division rivals this season. Boston won all six meetings last season, outscoring the Maple Leafs 36-10.
Big story: Boston will have to get over the fact that it blew a two-goal lead Thursday to Buffalo and lost in regulation for the first time this season. On the flip side, Toronto is hoping to build off the fact that it overcame a third-period deficit against Washington on Thursday to earn its first home win this season. The Maple Leafs actually have won two in a row, including a 4-3 victory against the Sabres on Tuesday.
Bruins: In addition to the defensive deficiencies that led to a 7-4 loss to Buffalo on Thursday, Boston also got beat up.
Shawn Thornton sustained a concussion during a fight with Sabres forward John Scott and is expected to miss a week to 10 days. Daniel Paille took a stick to the face from Tyler Myers and is out with an upper-body injury that very well could be a concussion, though the team is not calling it that.
"We're going to deem it an upper-body injury, only for the reason that right now, we don't have all the details," Bruins coach Claude Julien said according to the Boston Globe. "We know he got the high stick, right? Once we get more clarification on his injury, we'll let you know."
Jamie Tardif is expected to make his NHL debut Saturday after being recalled on an emergency basis from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
Maple Leafs: Phil Kessel can't buy a goal despite being around the net and getting off some good shots, but the Leafs are winning in part because AHL call-up Matt Frattin has four goals and two assists in four games since he was summoned from the Toronto Marlies.
Frattin scored the winner in the third period Thursday. He's been playing on a line with fellow AHL linemates Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov, and the chemistry, especially between Frattin and Kadri, is showing.
Kadri leads the Leafs with seven points (three goals, four assists) in seven games. Frattin has gotten ice time due to the injury to Joffrey Lupul (broken forearm), and doesn't appear ticketed for another AHL game for a while, if ever again.
"We've been playing together for a couple of years now. We're able to form some chemistry," Kadri told the Toronto Star. "We have offensive minds and are learning to become more responsible with Randy [Carlyle, coach] increasing our minutes game by game. It shows a lot of faith and belief in us and gives us more confidence."
Who's hot: Boston forwards David Krejci and Nathan Horton each carry five-game point-scoring streaks into Saturday's game. Boston forward Brad Marchand had two goals against Buffalo and now has a team-high five for the season. … Frattin has three goals in the last two games and Nikolai Kulemin has three points in the last three games.
Injury report: Boston will be without Thornton (concussion) and Paille (upper-body). Toronto has Lupul (broken forearm), Clarke MacArthur (lacerated pinkie) and Mike Brown (shoulder) on its injury list.