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Pastrnak on roll for Boston; Toronto counting on Kerfoot with Tavares injured

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (5-1-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (4-3-1)



The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without center John Tavares when they host the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

Tavares sustained a broken finger when he was hit on the right hand by a shot from Morgan Rielly in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. He is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks.

Frederik Andersen, who backed up Michael Hutchinson against the Capitals, will start for the Maple Leafs, who are 2-3-0 in their past five games.

Bruins center David Krejci will miss his second-consecutive game with an upper body injury sustained during a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

Jaroslav Halak will start for the Bruins, who are 2-0-1 in their past three games.


Players to watch

Bruins forward David Pastrnak has seven points (six goals, one assist) in his past two games and 13 points (eight goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak.

Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen had three points (one goal, two assists) on Wednesday against the Capitals and has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past four games.


They said it

"I don't think we've played our best hockey by any stretch. Our record is probably a product of really good special teams, some timely scoring and really good goaltending. We're not as tight as we typically are, we're giving up more than we typically do so we have some areas we need to address." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy 

"Kerfoot is a way better player than we expected; he's way grittier and got more grease to him. We think he's going to make way more plays as time goes on and he gets more comfortable. He has to continue to work on his defensive side, so he has the puck more. That's the big thing for him, having the puck more." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on center Alexander Kerfoot, who is being elevated in the lineup in the absence of Tavares


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- Charlie Coyle -- Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen -- Par Lindholm -- Brett Ritchie

Chris Wagner -- Sean Kuraly -- David Backes

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Steven Kampfer

Injured: David Krejci (upper body), Joakim Nordstrom (upper body), John Moore (shoulder), Kevan Miller (knee)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Ilya Mikheyev -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Mitchell Marner

Trevor Moore -- Jason Spezza -- Kasperi Kapanen

Dmytro Timashov -- Nicholas Shore -- Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Tyson Barrie

Martin Marincin -- Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Nic Petan, Kevin Gravel

Injured: John Tavares (broken finger), Zach Hyman (ACL), Travis Dermott (shoulder)


Status report

Bergeron missed practice on Friday but will play. … Spezza will play after being a healthy scratch for the past three games.


Stat pack

Marchand has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during a six-game point streak. … Bergeron has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a six-game point streak. … Krug has four points (zero goals, four assists) in his past two games. … Mikheyev has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games. … Marner has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past four games.

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