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Game Journal: Game 21 - Maple Leafs vs. Bruins

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

5:45 PM: Leafs TV caught up with Shawn Matthias and P-A Parenteau ahead of tonight's game in Boston. Take a look...

5:30 PM: Leafs head coach Mike Babcock spoke to the media on Saturday before the Leafs took on the Bruins. Here's what he had to say...

On improving from last night:

The biggest thing that happened last night was we didn't win any faceoffs. When you don't win any faceoffs you spend half the shift in your zone and you're tired by the time you get to the red line and you put the puck in and then they keep coming. It ends up being like last night. The first priority will be to win some faceoffs, the second priority will be to execute the first time in the D zone, instead of wasting all your energy there, and spending more time in the O zone. That's what our priority will be.

On getting outshot in recent games:
We just finished our five game segment and we gave up the fewest chances in the last five games substantially than we have in any other segment. We're positive about that and we think that's a real good thing. Last night we still didn't give up a ton of chances. We got outshot 30 to 20 or something like that, we hardly got any shots to be honest with you, so I didn't think last night was a very good game for us. I'd always like to outshoot the other team but I'd like to outchance the other team more so that's where our focus is.

What's the biggest challenge of so many back-to-backs in an early stretch of the season?

Well obviously you're not as fresh. I don't know what the math is on the League, someone like you could probably do that, figure that out for me and tell me, but I think our schedule has a little bit to do with TV if I'm not mistaken.

What do you like about working with Claude Julien?
Well he's a good man but I also heard he said I snore. That's not true though, it's the other way around actually. I had to go to bed first just so I could get to bed for crying out loud, so let's get that cleared up. The second thing is he's a good man, a real good person, enjoys the game, real smart in the game and been doing it for a long, long time. He's had a lot of success, I have a lot of fun coaching against him and a lot of fun being around him and coaching with him. I think any time you're with really good coaches you're basically stealing from each other and gathering all the information. That doesn't mean you change the way you think but you're sure getting any good ideas they have and trying to think like you do.

What do you look for from Kadri when you evaluate that line against other top lines?
I thought it was a tough night for that line last night. Any way you look at it, the Staals, both of them, are big, heavy strong guys and last night their team was excellent in the faceoff circle. I thought they made it hard on their people last night. Tonight I don't know if he gets Bergeron or Krejci, those are real players. If you look at Naz's career, this is probably the first time he draws the other team's best guys -- best D, best centre -- so you're a work in progress. We understand that and know that, you've just got to compete each and every night. Obviously it was a huge goal for him last night, we needed the goal to tie the game and end up getting two points. He as a huge part of that. Did he control play the way he normally does? No.

Do you get Spaling back tonight?

4:15 PM: Tonight's officials are Kevin Pollock and Garrett Rank while Michel Cormier and Matt MacPherson will be the linesmen. Those looking to tune in can watch Hockey Night in Canada, listen in on TSN 1050 and follow the Leafs on Twitter.

Paul Hendrick checks in from Boston to get you set for tonight's game against the Buins.

4:00 PM:
Leafs goaltender James Reimer will get the start against the Bruins on Saturday night.

Reimer has a 5-5-2 record in his career against the Bruins with a 2.47 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. This year, when making back-to-back appearances, Reimer is 0-0-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

In his last nine starts, Reimer is 6-1-2 with a .951 save percentage. He has won five consecutive starts.

2:15 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Bruins.

Toronto Maple Leafs
21 van Riemsdyk - 43 Kadri - 47 Komarov
23 Matthias - 42 Bozak - 15 Parenteau
26 Winnik - 56 Froese - 19 Lupul
40 Grabner - 24 Holland - 28 Boyes

51 Gardiner - 3 Phaneuf
2 Hunwick - 44 Rielly
52 Marincin - 46 Polak

34 Reimer
45 Bernier

Boston Bruins
39 Beleskey - 46 Krejci - 21 Eriksson
63 Marchand - 37 Bergeron - 11 Hayes
51 Spooner - 41 Kemppainen - 14 Connolly
45 Morrow - 36 Rinaldo - 64 Randell

33 Chara - 62 Trotman
44 Seidenberg - 48 Miller
47 Krug - 54 McQuaid

40 Rask
50 Gustavsson

1:45 PM: The Toronto Maple Leafs wrap up another weekend doubleheader tonight when they take on the Boston Bruins. The game is the first of a home-and-home matchup for the teams who will have a rematch on Monday night.

The Leafs earned a shootout victory on Friday night when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes by a 2-1 score. Nazem Kadri had the lone Leafs goal in regulation while Peter Holland and Joffrey Lupul scored in the shootout to get the club two points. James Reimer made 33 saves to earn the victory. He'll return to the net on Saturday night.

The Bruins are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Brad Marchand had a goal and Loui Eriksson recorded a hat trick to pace the Bruins to victory. Jonas Gustavsson made 24 saves to earn the victory. Tuukka Rask is expected to start tonight's game against the Leafs.

Stay tuned for comments from Coach Babcock, the Leafs and projected lineups.

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