BRUINS (4-5-0) at MAPLE LEAFS (3-3-1)
TV: NHLN-US, CBC, NESN
Season series: This is the first of four games between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. They split four games in 2013-14, though Toronto needed overtime for one of its victories. The Bruins have won 11 of the past 14 regular-season games against the Maple Leafs.
Bruins team scope: The Bruins will be without defenseman Zdeno Chara for at least 4-6 weeks because of a knee injury. This should be an opportunity for some of the young defensemen on the roster like Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski to assume more responsibility. It might also be a chance for prospect Joe Morrow, who has been traded twice since being a first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011, to make his NHL debut. The Bruins recalled Morrow and defenseman Zach Trotman from Providence of the American Hockey League on Friday. Boston has scored more than two goals three times in nine games this season, and no player has scored more than twice.
Maple Leafs team scope: Toronto has not played since a 5-2 victory Tuesday against the New York Islanders. The Maple Leafs have 20 goals this season, and the top line of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk has combined to score half of them. It is early in the season, but the Maple Leafs might be showing signs of improvement at possessing the puck, something that has plagued them in recent seasons. Toronto’s Corsi-for percentage at even strength is less than 47 percent, which is among the worst in the NHL, but when the score is close (within a goal in the first two periods or tied in the third) the Maple Leafs are at 50.99 percent, which is in the middle of the pack. Given where the Maple Leafs have been the past couple of seasons, middle of the pack for 2014-15 would be considered a great improvement.