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Bruins vs Maple Leafs

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Bruins vs Maple Leafs - 2013 SCP Conference Quarterfinals

Rask stays cool and collected amidst barrage of shots

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The stat sheet tells you that over the last two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has faced 95 shots.

Considering he never faced more than 42 in a single game in the regular season and didn't have to deal with more than 78 in consecutive games prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one might think Rask would be feeling a little overworked heading into Game 5 of the series Friday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, RDS).

Bruins' Krejci again becoming a postseason beast

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has the same effect on David Krejci as the appearance of the full moon on a werewolf.

Both turn into a whole different sort of beast.

David Krejci
Center - BOS
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 10
SOG: 12 | +/-: 7
For the second time in three seasons, Krejci has been unstoppable in the playoffs. He's accumulated League highs of five goals and 10 points while leading the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Game 5 is Friday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, RDS).

"I'm just trying to go out there and do my best, try not to think too much and just trying to come through," Krejci said Thursday, one day after he capped a hat trick with an overtime goal in Toronto in Game 4.

Phaneuf's mistake belies overall play in Game 4

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Dion Phaneuf was having himself a whale of a hockey game. Then suddenly, in a pinch, all the good went down the drain.

All eyes were on the Toronto Maple Leafs captain in overtime in Game 4 when he elected to pinch inside the Boston Bruins' zone in an effort to nail Nathan Horton. In that regard, it was mission accomplished. Phaneuf drilled the Bruins right wing to the ice and it was clear he was in pain. Had the game continued much longer, it is hard to say if that hit might have affected Horton.

Maple Leafs' Fraser leaves after being struck by puck

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser was hit in the face by a slap shot off the stick of Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic at 7:49 of the third period with the score tied 3-3 Wednesday night in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal at Air Canada Centre.

Fraser, who played 10:07 in the first two periods then helped kill off a four-minute Boston power play early in the third, was immediately taken to the dressing room by the Toronto training staff.

Coach Randy Carlyle said during his postgame remarks that Fraser was taken to the hospital to have a CT scan that would check for fractures or broken bones in his face.

Lucic's return to form key to Bruins' success

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- While the Toronto Maple Leafs desperately search for the balanced scoring that was the team's trademark during the regular season, the Boston Bruins are quite comfortable with what they are getting from all four of their lines.

Milan Lucic
Left Wing - BOS
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 6
SOG: 9 | +/-: 5
After all, there aren't many teams that have a likely Hall of Fame member like Jaromir Jagr on its third line. And when someone like Milan Lucic, who struggled through the regular season, suddenly starts contributing to the tune of six assists in three games, well, offense it not an issue for the Bruins.

Center David Krejci, who led the Bruins to a 5-2 victory in Game 2 with a goal and two assists, said depth in scoring is a key element in Stanley Cup Playoff success.

"If you want to go deep in the playoffs you need all four lines to be going," he said. "I think we have seen that from our team so far."

Ference tunes out distractions as playoffs take hold

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – If Andrew Ference ran for mayor in the North End, the Boston neighborhood a few blocks from TD Garden in which he lives, he would probably win.

He might even have a shot at that office city-wide if he chose to get into politics once his playing days are finished.

Between his work in the community around the Bay State and his continent-wide efforts with organizations like Right to Play and the David Suzuki Foundation, the Boston Bruins defenseman is a well-known and well-rounded citizen. Yet on the ice, there's a beastly side to Ference that makes him an especially impactful factor when the Stanley Cup Playoffs arrive.

That beastly nature, however, sometimes lands him on the wrong side of the law.

When the Bruins resume their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 Monday night at Air Canada Centre with each side having won one game, Ference is scheduled to be back in the lineup. He missed Boston's loss in Game 2 because of a hit that crossed the line. It is the second time he has been suspended in as many seasons.

Salute to marathon victim electrifies TD Garden

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- In one of the most inspiring moments of the NHL season, the Boston Bruins and their fans paid tribute to one of their own Saturday at TD Garden, just prior to the opening faceoff of Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

As the team will do at every home game throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins recognized an honorary captain with a "Boston Strong" theme.

On Saturday, Boston Marathon victim and the evening's fan banner captain, Jeff Bauman, served that role in an emotional fashion, providing yet another reminder of the strength the community has shown in the wake of the marathon bombings late last month.

After the black carpet was laid down on the ice from the Zamboni entrance, Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombings, rolled his wheelchair three-quarters of the way out and began waving a "Boston Strong" flag to a rock concert-like ovation that grew in energy as it progressed.

Leafs eager for first home playoff game since 2004

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk has a simple message for those fans with tickets to Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins.

"The louder, the better," van Riemsdyk told reporters following his team's series-tying 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 on Saturday.

Both teams expect the packed house at Air Canada Centre on Monday night (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS) to blow the roof off the building when the Maple Leafs take the ice for their first Stanley Cup Playoffs match since losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round in 2004.

"No doubt," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "If you're Toronto right now and you haven't been in the playoffs for that long, your fans have got to be excited over there. We know it's going to be noisy and there's going to be a lot of electricity in the air and we have to face that."

Kessel ends goal-scoring jinx in Boston

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

Phil Kessel
Right Wing - TOR
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 5 | +/-: 1
BOSTON – The record book shows that Phil Kessel had scored six goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for the Toronto Maple Leafs, all six of those goals were scored in a Bruins sweater, and the last ones came during the 2009 second-round series against Carolina.

The optimists in Toronto would say it only took Kessel one postseason game in a Maple Leafs sweater to kick his goal-scoring into gear. Kessel scored on a breakaway 53 seconds into the third period to put the Maple Leafs ahead 3-1 en route to a series-tying 4-2 win against the Bruins. Kessel's first goal of the series was also the first even-strength goal of his career against the team that traded him to Toronto in 2009.

Bruins have faith they can turn to rookie Hamilton

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton wanted some advice on how to make an impact when he eventually debuted in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so he asked teammate Tyler Seguin.

"Yeah, he told me just to go out and have fun. It's a different game out there. And he said, 'If you do what I did, you'll be fine.' 'Just get six points in two games,' he said," Hamilton recalled after the Bruins' morning skate Saturday. "I don't think that will happen. I just want to come in and do my best and hopefully get another win."

Unlike Seguin, who had to wait until the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 to make his playoff debut (he posted 3-3-6 totals in the first two games of that series), Hamilton looks primed to get into the lineup sooner in 2013. With Andrew Ference suspended for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Toronto (7 p.m. CNBC, CBC), Hamilton is the leading candidate to replace the veteran who ranked fourth on the team in ice time during the regular season.

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