TORONTO – The Boston Bruins will have a couple of new faces in their lineup when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Sunday night.
Forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser were recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis after injuries to forwards Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson in their 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday put them out of action. The team placed Kelly on long-term injured reserve and defenseman Adam McQuaid on injured reserve.
“He’s a very smart player. He makes great plays and he’s got great speed also,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said of Spooner. “He is a young player and I think he’s learning to become a professional, and also a great player on both sides of the rink. I think that’s something we preach strong here in Boston.”
Spooner and Fraser were the leading scorers on the Providence Bruins and Fraser led the team in goals with 16.
“The results have been there,” Fraser said of his play in the AHL. “I think [Spooner] and I have been playing well together and as the year goes on, finding more chemistry. It’s such a fine line of what kind of makes you an American League player and an NHL player. I think playing with [Spooner] we work well together and kind of bring the best out of each other.”
Forward Jordan Caron will re-enter the lineup because of Shawn Thornton’s suspension. Thornton was suspended indefinitely pending a hearing with the League following his match penalty against Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Injuries were already an issue for the Bruins as they were already without defensemen McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk. Now with three regular forwards out of action, the team is relying heavily on their minor-league players to get by.
The Bruins didn’t hold a morning skate in Toronto. Tuukka Rask started against Pittsburgh and could get the start again versus the Maple Leafs. If he doesn't, Chad Johnson will get the nod.
The Maple Leafs held an optional morning skate in which just five skaters and James Reimer participated. Jonathan Bernier is expected to start against the Bruins after Reimer earned a shootout win Saturday on the road against the Ottawa Senators.
In that game, the Maple Leafs gave up 50 shots on goal to the Senators but still came away with the win. Toronto is allowing an average of 36.4 shots on goal per game.
“They don’t ask how, they ask how many,” Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri said referring to wins. “It doesn’t matter, we just got the two points.”
As for the lineups, here’s how they might look:
James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond – Trevor Smith – David Clarkson
Carter Ashton – Jay McClement – Nikolai Kulemin
Jerry D’Amigo – Peter Holland – Frazer McLaren
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner – Cody Franson
Mark Fraser – John-Michael Liles
Scratched: Paul Ranger, Morgan Rielly
Injured: Joffrey Lupul (groin), Tyler Bozak (strained oblique), Colton Orr (elbow surgery), Dave Bolland (cut tendon)
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Carl Soderberg – Ryan Spooner – Matt Fraser
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Jordan Caron
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg – Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski – Kevan Miller
Scratched: Shawn Thornton (suspended)
Injured: Johnny Boychuk (back), Chris Kelly (broken ankle), Loui Eriksson (concussion), Adam McQuaid (lower body)