NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 28th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (5-2-1) at Boston Bruins (4-2-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After a well-earned rest the Boston Bruins will try to
close out a three-game homestand on a positive note when they host the rival
Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at TD Garden.
The Bruins last played on Saturday when they had a four-game winning streak
halted in a regulation loss to the New York Rangers. It was the first loss for
Boston since dropping a 5-2 decision to Phoenix in the club's season opener in
the Czech Republic.
The one thing in common from both Bruins losses is that Tuukka Rask has been
in net. Rask, who won the starting job from Tim Thomas last season, is 0-2
with a 3.55 goals-against average this year. Meanwhile, Thomas, the 2008-09
Vezina Trophy winner, is 4-0 with a 0.75 GAA and .978 save percentage. Thomas
is expected to get the start tonight for Boston and is 14-4-3 with a 2.98 GAA
in 22 career starts against the Maple Leafs.
Not that the Bruins' recent loss was all Rask's fault, however, as Boston also
fell victim to an excellent performance by Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
on Saturday. The Swedish backstop made 35 saves, including 10 in the third
period, to help New York hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Nathan Horton, who has recorded a point in six straight games, had a goal and
an assist for the Bruins. Zdeno Chara also scored, and Rask yielded all three
goals on 30 shots. The three goals allowed were the same amount surrendered
over the entire course of Boston's four-game winning streak.
"We played four games ... and won them all and now I get in there and get the
loss again, so that's too bad," Rask told his team's official site. "But [it
was a] good week for us"
The Bruins also lost defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a broken left forearm
suffered in Saturday's game. Boychuk, who has three assists on the year,
sustained the injury when he was slashed by a New York player and he is
expected to be sidelined for four weeks.
Following tonight's game the Bruins will head out on a three-game road trip,
which will begin Saturday night in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs hope to get a second straight win tonight after
ending a three-game slide with Tuesday's victory against visiting Florida. It
was the first victory for Toronto since beginning the season on a four-game
Toronto enforcer Colton Orr was credited with the game-winning goal midway
through the third period on Tuesday and Phil Kessel added a late breakaway
tally to seal the 3-1 victory over the Panthers. Tyler Bozak also scored while
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 21 saves for the Maple Leafs.
"We dug in tonight and it was a huge win for us, and hopefully one that gets
us back on the right track," said Toronto forward Tim Brent.
Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong suffered a finger injury in the victory
and will require surgery. Armstrong, who has one goal this year, is expected
to miss 4-to-6 weeks of action. Luca Caputi has been recalled from the Toronto
Marlies of the AHL to take Armstrong's roster spot.
Toronto is 2-1-0 on the season and will be on the road for just one game
before hosting the Rangers and Ottawa in its next two outings.
Boston won four of six against the Maple Leafs last year and the Bruins have
taken nine of 11 overall from their Original Six rivals. Toronto has also
dropped five straight and six of its last seven in Beantown.
10/28 11:01:07 ET