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Bruins-Maple Leafs Preview @NHLdotcom
Bruins-Maple Leafs Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (12-16-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (17-14-3).

TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Toronto Maple Leafs' potent power play came up short Thursday against the Boston Bruins.

Now, the Leafs will look to generate more offense with the man advantage when the Northeast Division rivals wrap up their home-and-home series.

The Maple Leafs entered Thursday tied with Ottawa for third in the league with 46 power play goals and a 21.7 percentage on the man advantage. However, they went 0-for-9 on the power play in Thursday's 4-1 loss.

"We've got to do a better job on the power-play," defenseman Bryan McCabe said. "Those are key situations and when we don't produce we don't win."

Toronto fell to 1-6 in games when they fail to score a power play goal. The Maple Leafs are 11-0-1 when scoring two or more man-advantage goals, including a seven-goal effort Oct. 14 at Atlanta.

Mariusz Czerkawski scored in his second consecutive game for Toronto, which has lost five of its last seven. The Leafs are just 6-for-47 (13 percent) on the power play over that span.

"We're not consistent enough at putting the puck on the net and when you miss the net, it's basically a turnover," coach Pat Quinn said.

The Bruins won for just the second time in six games, scoring their most goals in that stretch. Alexei Zhamnov got the tie-breaking goal - his first score of the season - and Travis Green, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart also scored.

"Sometimes you forget what it feels like to score and getting that second one was very important for us tonight," Zhamnov said. "When I saw the empty net in front of me, I almost lost the puck."

Brian Leetch added three assists for the Bruins, who won for the second time in seven road games.

"We played better with the lead than we have and tonight showed us we can do that," said goalie Hannu Toivonen, who stopped 26 shots. "We needed to build confidence with the lead and we did that and got some points tonight."

STANDINGS (through Dec. 22): Bruins - 30 points, 5th place, 19 PB, Northeast Division. Maple Leafs - 37 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Sergei Samsonov, 13 goals and 27 points; Samsonov and Brad Boyes, 14 assists; Jiri Slegr and Hal Gill, 48 PIM. Maple Leafs - Darcy Tucker, 14 goals; McCabe, 29 assists, 40 points and 50 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 22): Bruins - Power play: 17.1 percent (33 for 193), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.7 percent (177 for 214), tied for 13th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 20.8 percent (46 for 221), tied for 4th. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (178 for 221), tied for 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (5-13-2, 0 SO, 3.36 GAA); Toivonen (7-3-4, 1, 2.93). Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (13-11-2, 0, 3.46); Mikael Tellqvist (4-3-1, 1, 2.54).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 3-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Thursday; Bruins, 4-1. At Boston, Tellqvist stopped 21 shots for the Maple Leafs.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 6-10-4 on the road; Maple Leafs - 11-7-1 at home.

Associated Press
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