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Energy-filled Maple Leafs take on Bruins

Toronto (5-4-4) at Boston (6-3-3), 7:00 pm EST

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs have learned the hard

way that a potent offense never will negate a lifeless defense.

After a string of several impressive offensive efforts, the

Maple Leafs look to firm up their defense when they visit the

Boston Bruins in a battle of Northeast Division rivals on

Thursday.

Toronto has scored 21 goals in its last five games but is just

2-2-1 in that span as it has yielded just as many tallies.

The Maple Leafs' offense was in top form again on Tuesday, but

it was not enough to secure a victory. Toronto fell into a 4-1

hole in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes and

eventually spoiled a thrilling comeback with a 5-4 overtime

loss.

After dropping the first game of the home-and-home series on

Sunday, the Maple Leafs rallied back as Mikhail Grabovski capped

his second straight two-goal performance early in the third

period to forge a 4-4 tie. But in the end, Carolina defenseman

Niclas Wallin scored 1:52 into overtime, handing Toronto its

second straight setback.

The Maple Leafs have outshot their opponents in eight

consecutive games and have registered at least 35 shots in seven

of their last eight. They outshot the Hurricanes, 27-8, over

the final 40 minutes of regulation and by a 42-24 overall

margin.

Boston has won four of its last five, mostly because of Tim

Thomas' brilliance. The 34-year-old goaltender recorded

back-to-back shutouts against the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver

Canucks last week and shined in the team's last game - a 5-1 win

over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

He was backed by Marco Sturm's two-goal effort and Patrice

Bergeron, who netted his third tally of the season. After

missing all but 10 games last season due to a concussion,

Bergeron also has five assists in 12 games.

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