Game Preview #26 - Bruins vs Leafs

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-2) will attempt to conquer their Waterloo tonight as they face the Boston Bruins (15-7-1) for the second time in four days. The Leafs will receive a big boost tonight as #1 goalie James Reimer is expected to be in the lineup for the first time since October 22. Despite Reimer's return Jonas Gustavsson is expected to get his fifth straight start against a red-hot Bruins team. Boston went 12-0-1 in November vaulting themselves to the top of the North East Division standings. Both teams are expected to dress the same lineups from Wednesdays 6-3 Bruins victory. The Leafs played a strong game against the Bruins, and were unfortunate to not get a result against the defending champs.

With a victory tonight the Leafs will not only re-take the lead in the North East, but they will be able to fire a shot across the bow of the Bruins. Beating Boston tonight in their own rink, will go a long way in establishing a confidence within the Leafs dressing room, while creating some doubt in the Bruins room about this Leafs team. Toronto must prove to the Bruins that they will not go quietly against into the night. Following Wednesdays loss the feeling around the room was that the Bruins bark is worse than their bite, and the boys in blue and white tonight will look to bite back tonight.

Toronto will once again be without Colby Armstrong (7-10 days), Mike Komisarek (2-4 weeks), Mike Brown (6 weeks) and Matthew Lombardi (4-6 weeks). The Bruins have been fortunate so far this season with no significant injuries to report.

Lineups

Leafs

Forwards 

Lupul – Bozak – Kessel
Kulemin – Connolly – MacArthur
Frattin  - Colborne  - Crabb
Dupuis – Grabovski – Steckel

Defense 

Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Schenn
Liles – Franson

Goalies

Gustavsson
Reimer

Bruins

Forwards

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Pouliot – Kelly – Peverly
Paille – Campbell – Thornton

Defense

Chara – Boychuk
Ference – McQuaid
Seidenberg – Corvo

Goalies

Thomas
Rask

Players to Watch

Leafs: Tim Connolly  - A veteran of the Bruins-Sabres battles over the years, the first year Leafs ability to create offense will be a key factor tonight. The Leafs had success last season against the Bruins when they received production from lines that didn't have Phil Kessel on it. Hopefully Connolly can punish his old enemies in the black and gold.

Bruins: Milan Lucic - With five goals in three games against the Leafs this season, Lucic has been a question that the Leafs haven't been able to answer so far this season. A bull in front of the net, the Leafs defense will need to be able to clear the strong Bruin forward if they are going to be successful tonight.

Game Time: 7:00 at the TD Garden. TV - CBC. Radio - AM640.