Toronto at Boston
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 10, 2016
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – (Wire Service Preview) – Among the reasons the Boston Bruins failed to qualify for the postseason in 2015-16 was a lack of success at home, a trend that has carried over to this season. The Bruins will try to avert a third consecutive defeat overall and avoid dropping to .500 at TD Garden when they host the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Boston, which stumbled through an inexplicable 17-18-6 record at home last season, dropped to 7-6-0 with a 4-2 loss to a visiting Colorado team that had lost its previous four. “There was a lot of problematic things there. But at the same time, you’ve got to move on here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Thursday’s setback. “Now we got to move forward here and start getting ready for Toronto.” The youthful Maple Leafs have been up and down, losing three in a row and six of eight (2-4-2) following Wednesday’s 3-2 setback to Minnesota. Toronto dominated Boston 4-1 at home in its second contest of the season, but it has won only twice in 13 games (2-6-5) away from home.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CBC, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (10-10-5): Coach Mike Babcock juggled his lines in the third period of Wednesday’s loss, elevating William Nylander alongside Nazem Kadi and Leo Komarov. While Toronto failed to produce the tying goal in the final 20 minutes, it dominated Minnesota with a 17-3 edge in shots on goal, so Babcock will go with the same alignment against Boston. “I have a tendency to play Nylander with Komarov and Kadri on the road,” Babcock said. “When the other team has last change, it gives Willy more of an opportunity.”
ABOUT THE BRUINS (15-11-2): David Pastrnak continues to light up the scoreboard for Boston, netting both goals against Colorado to give him five in his last three games and 18 for the season — tying Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the league lead. “He’s been great all year long,” forward Brad Marchand said. “You see the way he plays. He’s able to make something out of nothing and able to turn around a game in a single play. It’s great to see that he’s doing so well.” Boston’s power play is in a 1-for-18 rut over the past six games.
1. Bruins G Tuukka Rask is 15-3-2 with a 1.87 goals-against average versus Toronto.
2. Maple Leafs G Frederik Andersen has won all five career matchups against Boston, allowing a combined seven goals.
3. Marchand is riding a four-game point streak but has only one goal in his last 10 games.