Boston (33-8-5) at Toronto (17-22-7), 7:30 p.m. EST
TORONTO (Ticker) — The Boston Bruins attempt to defeat the
Toronto Maple Leafs for the fourth straight time when the
Northeast Division rivals meet Wednesday.
Toronto handed Boston a 4-2 home defeat in the first meeting
between the clubs in October.
However, the Bruins have taken the last three encounters,
including an 8-5 victory in the most recent showdown last month.
Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala had a rough time in that
setback, allowing two goals on five shots in the first 4:34
before being replaced by Curtis Joseph. Toskala re-entered that
game in the third period after the Bruins went ahead 7-5.
The Leafs continue to rely heavily on the Finn, who has started
the last eight games despite allowing 27 goals during that
Boston netminder Tim Thomas wasn’t much better in the teams’
last meeting as the Bruins’ 5-1 lead early in the second period
was eventually trimmed to 6-5, prompting coach Claude Julien to
play Manny Fernandez over the final 20 minutes.
It was a rare lapse for Thomas, an Eastern Conference All-Star
who leads the league with a .934 save percentage.
Boston is tops in the conference with 71 points, but the club is
winless in its last two games.
The Bruins appeared to have their fifth victory in six games
sewn up Monday against St. Louis, but David Backes scored a
game-tying goal with under one second remaining in regulation
and the Blues went on to win 5-4 in the shootout.