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Game Day Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Boston Bruins (11-2-3-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (6-10-2-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Boston Bruins look to increase their Eastern Conference-leading point total and extend their unbeaten streak to six games when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Boston lost its season opener, 5-1 at Minnesota, but then went on an eight-game unbeaten run. Following that streak, the Bruins lost two of three, but have since bounced back to go undefeated in their last five contests (4-0-1).

Boston extended its run Saturday with a 2-2 tie at Philadelphia. The Bruins lead the conference with 26 points, and are two behind the Dallas Stars for the most in the NHL.

Nik Antropov returns to the lineup vs. the Bruins.
Graig Abel Photography
The Bruins have done all this without key regulars Sergei Samsonov and Martin Lapointe, both sidelined since mid-October with injuries. And, defenseman Kyle McLaren is holding out and has asked to be traded.

Also, Boston lost top goal scorer Bill Guerin to Dallas in the offseason, and goalie Byron Dafoe remains an unrestricted free agent.

"We're missing a couple of guys that we had last year," Boston forward Glen Murray said. "We wanted to prove to everybody around the league that we are for real."

Toronto didn't need to prove anything to anyone after reaching the conference finals last season, but after 18 games, it has the fifth-lowest point total in the NHL with 14.

The Leafs have lost three of their last five, have won consecutive games just once all season and have only four wins in 12 home games.

"We're in a tough spot," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We've got a lot of good people in our dressing room and collectively we're not getting it done."

Following Tuesday's matchup, the Bruins begin a stretch of playing nine of 11 games at home, where they are 5-1-1 this season. The Leafs conclude a three-game homestand on Saturday against the Flyers.

Bruins - 26 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.
Maple Leafs - 14 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Joe Thornton, 10 goals, 13 assists and 23 points; P.J. Stock, 53 PIM.
Maple Leafs - Alexander Mogilny, 10 goals and 21 points; Mogilny and Mats Sundin, 11 assists; Tie Domi, 36 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 17):
Bruins - Power play: 18.8 percent (16 for 85), 7th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.2 percent (79 for 95), 16th.
Maple Leafs - Power play: 19.6 percent (19 for 97), 6th. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (88 for 104), 12th (tied).

Bruins - Steve Shields (6-1-2, 2.38 GAA); John Grahame (3-2-1, 2.02).
Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (5-6-2, 1 SO, 2.59); Trevor Kidd (1-4-0, 4.23).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 21; Bruins, 4-1. At Toronto, Jozef Stumpel had a goal and two assists, and Murray, Hal Gill and Ivan Huml also scored for Boston.

Bruins - 6-1-2-1 on the road;
Maple Leafs - 4-7-1-0 at home.
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