NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 9th (All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (29-24-11) at Toronto Maple Leafs (20-33-12), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to bolster their playoff hopes when they visit the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs for tonight's clash between Original Six clubs at Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins are currently holding onto the eighth and final postseason berth in the East with 69 points -- giving them just a two-point edge over the ninth- seeded New York Rangers.
Despite being fourth in the Northeast Division, the Bruins are just 10 points behind first-place Buffalo. Toronto is last in the division, as well as the conference, with 52 points.
The Bruins have won three of four meetings against Toronto this year and have taken 10 of 12 overall. Boston has also notched seven victories in its last nine trips to Air Canada Centre.
Boston had a two-game win streak halted Sunday in Pittsburgh, losing 2-1 to the Penguins in a game that saw Bruins forward Marc Savard suffer an injury on a dangerous hit.
Savard suffered a Grade Two concussion late in regulation on a blind-side hit to the head by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. Cooke caught an unsuspecting Savard with a shoulder moments after he released a shot from the high slot. Savard lay motionless for several minutes while being attended to by the medical staff. He was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher and is out indefinitely.
No penalty was called on the play, but the league is still investigating the hit and a suspension could be levied against Cooke as early as today.
"A guy like that has to be suspended," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of Cooke. "And that's the way I see it, because it's an elbow to the head from the blind side. That's exactly the example they show of what we've got to get out of this game."
Savard has missed 23 of Boston's 64 games this year, mostly due to foot and knee injuries. Despite missing time, he is tied for third on the Bruins with 33 points.
Blake Wheeler had the lone goal for Boston on Sunday and Tim Thomas was saddled with the loss despite making 31 saves.
The Bruins are playing the third test of a seven-game road trip tonight. Boston is just 15-11-5 as the visiting club this season and had won five straight as the guest before Sunday's loss.
Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs were defeated for the fifth time in six games on Sunday, losing a 3-1 decision in Philadelphia.
Nikolai Kulemin scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost three of four since the NHL returned from its Olympic break. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 stops in the loss.
Tonight marks the first of three straight on home ice for Toronto, which is just 11-14-5 as the host this year.
03/09 10:40:36 ET