Leafs Begin Home-And-Home Series Against Bruins
BRUINS (20-6-3) at MAPLE LEAFS (16-12-3)
TV: NHLN-US, CBC, NESN
Last 10: Boston 6-3-1; Toronto 4-3-3
Season series: Third of four meetings between these Northeast Division rivals. The Bruins have taken the first two, Tuukka Rask stopping all 21 shots he faced in a 1-0 win in Toronto on Feb. 2, and Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron combining for three goals and six points in a 4-2 victory in Boston on March 7.
Big story: The Bruins have won eight in a row against the Maple Leafs dating back to the 2010-11 season. Boston is battling for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference, while Toronto is trying to get back on firm ground having lost six of its last seven. Joffrey Lupul will be serving the final game of a two-game suspension.
Bruins: The streak against Toronto isn't the only one Boston has going -- the Bruins have now won 11 consecutive games in Ottawa after they edged the Senators 2-1 on Thursday. It was a particularly thrilling victory, as the teams appeared headed to overtime before Dennis Seidenberg found the back of the net on a shot from the right point with 1:04 remaining. Daniel Paille had scored at the end of the second period to erase an Ottawa lead, while backup goalie Anton Khudobin improved to 6-2-0 with a 27-save performance.
"Real big, he stood back there tall," Seidenberg said. "He saved us a few times. We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes, a lot of breakdowns, so he did a great job. That's his win at the end."
Maple Leafs: Special-teams play had a huge role in Toronto's 5-4 loss to Buffalo on Thursday, which took a six-round shootout to decide. Nazem Kadri and Mikhail Grabovski scored shorthanded goals to stake the Maple Leafs to 2-0 and 3-1 leads, respectively, but repeated trips to the penalty box would also cost them dearly, as the Sabres rallied on the strength of four power-play goals. The Leafs fell behind 4-3 before Kadri's second of the night forced overtime and allowed them to escape with a point.
"I think we're doing a lot of good things," Kadri said. "Bits and pieces of the game start to get away and drift from our structure. That's where we start to find ourselves in a little bit of trouble, but for the most part, if we can put together a 60-minute game, we're going to be a tough team to beat."
Who's hot: Kadri has three straight multi-point games for the Maple Leafs, totaling two goals and six assists. Phil Kessel has four goals and six assists during a six-game points streak. Tyler Bozak has three goals and one assist during a four-game points streak. Nikolai Kulemin has two goals and one assist during a three-game points streak.
Injury report: Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid (shoulder) and forward Chris Kelly (broken tibia) are sidelined. … Toronto forward Leo Komarov is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.