BOSTON -- The Bruins' seven-game win streak against the Toronto Maple Leafs is amazingly the longest the Boston franchise has had against its Original Six brother from the north.
That Toronto enters Thursday night's game at TD Garden one point behind Boston in the Eastern Conference, and riding a three-game winning streak, tells the Bruins that the Maple Leafs are a different team than the one it has handled easily the past couple seasons.
A glance at the fighting-major leaderboard, which features the Maple Leafs on top, also sends the Bruins a message that they're going to have their hands full.
"They've obviously got a big lineup and guys who can definitely take care of business," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said after an unusually aggressive morning skate. "With saying that, regardless of that fact, they've also been playing a good team game and been able to put pucks in the back of the net as well. So I think there's confidence up and down their lineup, from top to bottom, and you can see that in their play of late."
Bruins coach Claude Julien hinted at lineup changes, and those likely will include Jay Pandolfo entering in place of Chris Bourque, who was put on waivers Thursday. Bourque stayed out extra on the ice with usual scratches Lane MacDermid and Aaron Johnson.
Anton Khudobin was the first Bruins goaltender off the ice, which typically means he will start.
Toronto did not hold a morning skate.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo – Chris Kelly – Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid
Scratched: Aaron Johnson, Lane MacDermid
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Jay McClement – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Frazer McLaren – David Steckel – Colton Orr
Dion Phaneuf – Korbinian Holzer
Carl Gunnarsson – Michael Kostka
Cody Franson – Mark Fraser
Injured: Matt Frattin, Joffrey Lupul
Scratched: John-Michael Liles, Mike Komisarek