Gameday: Bruins look to bounce back against Leafs
The Bruins will look to get back into the win column tonight when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. Tonight will mark the second time the Northeast division rivals have met this season. The Bruins took the first meeting back on February 2, in Toronto 1-0 behind Chris Bourque’s lone goal of the season, more to come on Bourque
The Bruins are coming off two straight tough losses after their six-game win streak ended against the Montreal Canadiens last Sunday. Two nights ago in Washington the Bruins turned their best period of hockey into their most heartbreaking loss of the season. The B’s squandered a 3-0 first period lead en route to 4-3 overtime loss.
The Leafs head into Boston winners of three straight and currently sit just one point behind the Bruins in the Northeast, the Bruins do have four-games in hand. Last night the Maple Leafs hosted the Ottawa Senators and took down the Sens 5-4 behind Phil Kessel’s three-point night. Goalie James Reimer made 39 saves in the win.
After the jump, lineup, storylines, linkage and tweets of interest which includes a Bruin now on waivers.
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Location: TD Garden
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (14-3-3, 31 points), Maple Leafs (15-9-0 30 points)
Bruins’ projected lineup
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Leafs’ projected lineup
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel
Jay McClement-Mikhail Grabovski-Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke McArthur-Nazem Kadri-Matt Frattin
Colton Orr-Dave Steckel-Leo Komarov
Dion Phaneuf-Korbinian Holzer
Carl Gunnarsson-Mike Kostka
Cody Franson-Mark Fraser
Bruins to watch
Rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton enters tonight with points in four straight games (2-2-2) and goals in his last two contests. Hamilton now has three goals and nine assists on the year. Hamilton’s offensive game has been exactly how we expected, but the 19-year old Hamilton has struggled in his own end this season. Hamilton is a minus-3 on the year and was on the ice for two of Washington’s four-unanswered goals in Tuesday’s loss. With the Bruins D-core struggling as a unit, the Bruins need Hamilton to tighten things up in the defensive zone.
After four goals in his first 14 games, Milan Lucic has failed to find the back of the net in his past five games, but Lucic does has assists in three of those five. No. 17 enters tonight with 22 total points (5-17-22) in 29 games against the Maple Leafs.
Leafs to watch
Bruins fans should call 911 on the Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski as the German-born forward is a certified Bruins killer. Grabovski has 13 career goals in 28 games against the Bruins. After a 23-goal campaign last season, Grabovski is off to a slow start this season with just six goals and four assists in 24 games.
The trade to Toronto from Philadelphia couldn’t have started any better for James van Riemsdyk. The former Flyer already has 13 goals this season, he had 11 all of last year, granted, van Riemsdyk only appeared in 43 games. With JVR leading the way, it’s no surprise that the Maple Leafs are off to a surprisingly good start.
The Patriot Ledger’s Mike Loftus talks about the issues the Bruins need to address.
Bruins great Derek Sanderson joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich this morning (CBSBoston.com)
Jesse Connolly of New England Hockey Journal has an interesting piece on Dougie Hamilton.
Maple Leafs linkage:
Theleafsnation.com has a recap of last night’s win over the Senators.
Mike Zeisberger of The Toronto Sun touches on last night’s fight between Frazer McLaren and Dave Dziurzynski
Tweets of interest:
Chris Bourque has been placed on waivers:
BOS puts Chris Bourque on waivers.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 7, 2013
Looks like it’s Anton Khudobin in net for the Bruins tonight:
Anton Khudobin was the 1st goalie off the ice at morning skate. It appears he’ll get the start vs Toronto, but we’ll know for sure at 630
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 7, 2013
All signs point to Pandolfo in for Bourque tonight:
Line rushes: 17-46-18, 63-37-19 together. Pandolfo w/Kelly & Peverley, Bourque rotating in; Thornton & MacDermid rotating on 4th w/20, 11^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 7, 2013