NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 4th
(All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (14-8-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (8-12-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - While the return of Marc Savard helped spark the Bruins to
their best offensive output of the season, Jean-Sebastien Giguere couldn't
provide a similar boost in his forced return to action for the Maple Leafs.
Toronto has been shut out six times already this season and one of those came
against Boston, which looks to carry its offensive momentum into tonight's
meeting at Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins hit a recent bump in the road, losing four of five prior to back-
to-back wins over Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, but are just four points back of
the first-place Canadiens in the Northeast Division. The Maple Leafs sit last
in that division and are tied for 12th overall in the Eastern Conference due
to their 4-12-4 mark since beginning the season with four consecutive wins.
Toronto has been shut out three times in its last six games, including 5-0 on
Thursday against one of the West's bottom feeders, the Edmonton Oilers.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped just four of the six shots he faced before getting
benched in the second period for Giguere, who played for the first time since
Nov. 16 due to a groin injury. Not expected to return to action until possibly
tonight's game, Giguere allowed three goals on 13 shots.
"We were getting scoring chances, but we were getting frustrated. We just have
to stick with it," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said.
The Leafs have dropped five of their last six, including the first two games
of a three-game homestand that wraps today. Giguere could get the start in the
finale and is 1-2-1 with a 3.59 goals-against average in his career versus the
Giguere did not face Boston when it recorded a 2-0 victory at home over
Toronto on Oct. 28. Gustavsson took the tough-luck loss, making 30 saves.
The victory was the Bruins' third in four games and 10th in their last 12
versus the Maple Leafs, and they have won five of their last seven in Toronto.
Tim Thomas made 20 saves for one of his league-leading five shutouts,
improving to 6-0-1 in his last seven versus Toronto. He is a perfect 9-0-0 on
the road this year with a 1.45 GAA and 6-1-3 with a 2.53 GAA in his career at
The Bruins didn't need Thomas to be in his sharpest form on Thursday, setting
a single-game season high for goals in an 8-1 triumph over Tampa Bay. Thomas
was still solid with 37 saves.
David Krejci notched two goals and one assist, while Michael Ryder had a goal
and two helpers. Boston blew open a three-goal game with four third-period
tallies, getting one each from Krejci, Ryder, Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler.
The Bruins were sparked by the return of Savard, who made his season debut
after missing the first 23 games with post-concussion syndrome.
"He didn't look like he missed a beat out there," Bruins coach Claude Julien
said of his star center. "I liked his game from start to finish. His stamina
Boston, which is 9-3-0 on the road this year, tallied eight goals in a game
for the first time since an 8-5 victory over Toronto on Dec. 18, 2008.
Toronto is slated to get forward Colby Armstrong back in the lineup tonight
after he missed 16 games due to finger surgery. He has just one goal in eight
games this season.
12/04 10:36:51 ET