Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 8, 2018
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs mirrored each other by answering a sluggish start at home with sterling performances on the road. After changing his fortunes by extending his home point streak to eight games (six goals, four assists), Tavares and the Maple Leafs take their show on the road Saturday when they open a five-game trek against the Original Six-rival Boston Bruins.
Tavares scored in the third period for his team-leading 18th goal on Thursday, although Toronto saw its five-game winning streak halted with a 5-4 overtime loss against Detroit. The 28-year-old Ontario native netted his team’s lone tally in a 5-1 setback in Boston on Nov. 10 and has recorded 11 goals and 19 of his 32 points outside of Scotiabank Arena. David Pastrnak collected his second hat trick of the season and third career in the first meeting with the Maple Leafs and added two more tallies in a 4-2 loss in Toronto on Nov. 26. The 22-year-old Czech also scored his team-leading 20th goal and added an assist for his club-best 32nd point on Thursday for Boston, which has mustered just four goals during its three-game losing skid.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet 1 (Toronto), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (20-8-1): William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen survived a scare on Friday afternoon as the two 22-year-old forwards reportedly were involved in a minor car accident near the team’s practice facility. Nylander was held off the scoresheet in his first game since signing a six-year, $45 million deal and spent Friday’s practice on a line with Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown while Kapanen skated with Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson. Speaking of Matthews, the former top overall pick has collected five goals and three assists during his four-game point streak heading into his first meeting with the Bruins this season.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (14-10-4): Brad Marchand has set up a pair of goals in each game against the Maple Leafs to boost his assist total to a team high-tying 17. David Krejci, who also has 17 assists, snapped an 18-game goal drought in Thursday’s 3-2 setback versus Tampa Bay to tie him with club president Cam Neely (590) for 10th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Jake DeBrusk, whose 10 goals are second only to Pastrnak, has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last five games.
1. Boston G Jaroslav Halak, who is in line to make his 450th career start on Saturday, has split a pair of decisions this season to post a 9-4-4 career mark versus Toronto.
2. Maple Leafs G Frederik Andersen turned aside 38 of 40 shots on Nov. 26 to improve to 11-1-0 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in his career against the Bruins.
3. Boston’s fourth-ranked power play has converted on just three of its last 15 opportunities.