February 17, 2004
GAME: Boston Bruins (28-14-11-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (32-15-9-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Maple Leafs may have to make due without leading goal scorer Gary Roberts when they take on the visiting Boston Bruins in a key Northeast Division matchup.
Roberts, who has 22 goals, sat out Toronto's 8-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday because of a pulled leg muscle. His status for Tuesday's game is uncertain.
Prior to sustaining the injury, Roberts had goals in five of seven games. He also had three of the Leafs' 10 power-play goals in their previous five games.
Owen Nolan made up for Roberts' absence on Monday, scoring two goals and setting up two others as the Maple Leafs leapfrogged Ottawa into first place in the Northeast.
The Senators gained a temporary one-point lead in the division with their 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Monday afternoon.
"Sure, the points were there, but I've worked hard some nights and had no points whatsoever," said Nolan, who was two points off his career high. "It was nice to get rewarded for it and it was a big two points for us."
Toronto's No. 3 goalie, Mikael Tellqvist, made 22 saves in the win. Tellqvist, who had not won since early November, played because Ed Belfour sat out with a stiff back for the fifth time in six games and backup Trevor Kidd was given the night off after allowing 13 goals in his previous four games.
Maple Leafs defenseman Drake Berehowsky, acquired from Pittsburgh on Wednesday, struggled in his Toronto debut, getting called for three penalties - two of which led to goals for the Penguins.
Boston is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday, just its second loss in its last nine (6-0-1-2). The last time the Bruins lost in regulation was on Jan. 24 against Florida.
Boston is 2-2-0-2 on its current seven-game road trip.
The Bruins have struggled on the power play of late, failing on their last six chances with the man advantage after converting on eight of their previous 27 opportunities (29.6 percent).
"The only thing I can see on our power play is that maybe we don't have the desperation," Bruins defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "You have to pretend that maybe this is the last power play you're going to get. It's coming down to 20 games left now. You want to hit the playoffs with your power play clicking and your confidence high."
P.J. Axelsson scored Boston's lone goal Saturday. Axelsson has two goals, including the winner at Buffalo on Feb. 5, and three assists in the last four games.
-- Associated Press