Boston Bruins travel to face Maple Leafs

By: Joe Freda | Sunday, January 2, 2011
Clarke MacArthur

Clarke MacArthur and the young Leafs battle Boston Monday evening.

The Boston Bruins are 2-0-2 (6 points) in the first four games of their present road trip, with all of the contests decided by one goal.  Claude Julien’s crew completes its journey with Monday’s matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are 2-5 in their last seven games.

Boston logged its second straight shootout loss in Saturday’s 7-6 defeat as a 111 road NHL betting favorite against the Buffalo Sabres.  Bruins goalie Tim Thomas allowed a late scoring strike from Buffalo’s Drew Stafford at 19:32 of the third period, which tied the game, 6-6.

Thomas relieved Tuukka Rask, who was pulled after giving up three goals in the first period.  The two netminders united to stop 29-of-35 shots, with Thomas’ record dropping to 18-4-5 (41 points).

Boston’s Tyler Seguin and Zdeno Chara each notched two points, both logging one goal and one assist.  Seguin ended a six-game drought with no points, while Chara skated for a team-high 29 minutes.

Bruins right wing Mark Recchi finished with a team-high two assists.  The British Colombia native visited the penalty box for the first time in nine games, getting whistled for hooking in the second stanza.

The high-scoring affair’s combined 13 goals leaped above the ‘total’ of five during the first period, cashing ‘over’ tickets early.  Boston’s defeat was clinched when Chara missed an 18-foot wristshot during the shootout, leaving his squad with a 2-for-3 mark in the extra stanza.

The Bruins fell to 11-5-3 (25 points) in their first 19 road outings, with the ‘under’ dropping to 8-6-5.  Recchi and Co. have killed 83.6 percent of their shorthanded stints in that span.

Toronto ended a two-game losing skid with Saturday’s 5-1 win as a 113 road dog against the Ottawa Senators.  The Maple Leafs notched all five of their goals at even strength, while outdrawing Ottawa in faceoffs, 35-27.

Toronto Maple Leafs centerman Tyler Bozak scored twice in the first period, with the goals coming three minutes apart.  The 24-year-old extended his streak of games with at least one point to three.

Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle finished with two assists, improving to a team-high 23 for the season.  The defenseman has logged seven points in his last five games.

Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer stopped 32-of-33 shots in his first NHL start.  The rookie’s sole goal allowed came while Toronto was killing a 5-on-3 power play.

Reimer played ahead of backup netminder Jonas Gustvasson, who had been starting in place of the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere.  Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson is undecided on Monday’s netminder, but may opt returning to Gustvasson, who is 5-12-2 (12 points) in 19 outings with a 3.04 GAA.

The lopsided affair’s combined six goals jumped above the ‘total’ of 5 ½ early, cashing ‘over’ tickets by the end of the second period.

Toronto is 8-9-3 (19 points) in its first 20 home dates, with the ‘under’ collecting at 13-6-1.  The Maple Leafs have scored goals in 23.8 percent of their power play chances during that stretch.

The Bruins are 3-2 in their last five meetings against Toronto, with the ‘under’ going 3-1-1.

The Maple Leafs picked up a 3-2 win as 150 home dogs in a Dec. 4 clash between the foes, decided by a shootout.  Thomas stopped 38-of-40 shots for the Bruins, while the clubs finished even in faceoffs won, 27-27.

Monday’s rematch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PT).

Both squads will have two days off, resuming action as part of Thursday’s league slate.  Boston returns home to face the Minnesota Wild, while Toronto completes its two-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues.

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