TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer said he believes the key to a good end result lies in having a good start.
Reimer, who will make his 11th start in the past 12 games, thinks the Maple Leafs (7-10-4) need to come out strong when they host the Boston Bruins (10-8-1) at Air Canada Centre on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NESN, TSN4).
The teams played Saturday, a 2-0 Bruins win at TD Garden in Boston.
"I think we need a better start," Reimer said Monday. "I don't think we were happy with our start last game. We have to keep working hard. It was anybody's game the other night and if we can clean up a few things then hopefully we'll have a better outcome."
Reimer said there are lessons to be learned even in defeat and believes he and his teammates are at least playing well enough most nights to have a chance to win. They are 5-3-2 in their past 10 games.
"I don't know if it was our strongest game [Saturday], but I think we did enough things well to keep ourselves in the game and give ourselves a chance to win," Reimer said. "I think we are building and overall we're a better team playing a more honest style. We were in it right to the end and playing against a good team like Boston, that's what you want to do."
Toronto coach Mike Babcock said he is looking for improvement in the faceoff circle Monday. Boston won 55 percent of the faceoffs Saturday and the Carolina Hurricanes won 59 percent of the faceoffs against Toronto on Friday; Toronto won 2-1 in a shootout.
"How about just playing in the offensive zone; that would be a heck of a place to start," Babcock said. "We haven't had the puck for two games. Two games in a row the other team has absolutely dominated us in the faceoff circle in the first period. We have to be better. We spend too much time in our own zone chasing the puck around instead of winning faceoffs and getting to play in the offensive zone and wearing their team out. If you waste any more than 15 seconds in your own zone then you are not getting offensive zone time."
Boston coach Claude Julien said his team is looking to string together some wins following a bout of inconsistency.
"No doubt we have been better," Julien said. "We have had a hard time putting streaks together. We had the one (6-0-1) after we lost our first three and then we went back and forth with wins and losses. If you are going to move up in the standings you have to do a little better than that. That's what we're trying to do here."
The Bruins have won two in a row, which Julien attributed to a better commitment to playing a solid, 60-minute game.
"We are focused on what we need to do here and that is doing our jobs right," Julien said. "We have to keep that focus for 60 minutes. We have had some good starts to games this year. But when we lost we haven't been able to keep the focus for the whole 60 minutes. We have to do it for the whole game vs. spurts."
Here are the projected lineups:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey - David Krejci - Loui Eriksson
Ryan Spooner - Joonas Kemppainen - Brett Connolly
Zac Rinaldo - Max Talbot - Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman
Dennis Seidenberg - Colin Miller
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Injured: Frank Vatrano (upper body), David Pastrnak (foot), Chris Kelly (broken leg), Kevan Miller (upper body)
Scratched: Joe Morrow, Landon Ferraro
James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau
Peter Holland - Byron Froese - Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner - Nick Spaling - Brad Boyes
Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin - Roman Polak
Injured: Stephane Robidas (groin).
Scratched: Frank Corrado, Scott Harrington, Daniel Winnik
Status report: Babcock said Spaling likely will play after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. If he plays Winnik will be scratched and Peter Holland likely will be moved to left wing from center. … Julien said he has some game-time decisions to make with his lineup, including whether Ferraro could play. Ferraro was claimed on waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. "He's a good player," Julien said. "He's fast and gritty and I know he kills penalties. He's a second-round pick [No. 32, by the Detroit Red Wings in 2009], and Detroit usually drafts pretty well."
Who's hot: Bergeron has three goals and five assists during a seven-game point streak. … Eriksson has four goals and two assists during a four-game point streak. … Belesky has four assists in the past five games…Marchand has goals in three straight games…Reimer is 5-1-0 in his past six starts. He's allowed eight goals in the six games.