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Kostka suffered broken finger in series opener

by Mike G. Morreale

BOSTON -- Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle announced Thursday that defenseman Michael Kostka sustained a broken finger in the second period of Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and is out for Game 2 against the Boston Bruins on Saturday at TD Garden.

Additionally, defenseman Cody Franson (foot bruise) is day-to-day. Forward Phil Kessel, who was missing from Thursday's practice at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University, was taking a maintenance day.

Though Kessel likely will be in the lineup Saturday, it remains to be seen what changes Carlyle will make on defense with Kostka out and Franson hurting. Carlyle said he will insert either Ryan O'Byrne or Jake Gardiner, or have both players in the lineup.

The Maple Leafs are less than 24 hours removed from dropping a 4-1 decision to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at TD Garden. Though it wasn't the start Carlyle envisioned, he said his team has a lot more to offer against the Bruins in Game 2.

"We know we can play better than we did [Wednesday]; they know they can," Carlyle said. "We have to take that responsibility in the next couple days to get ourselves ready. No matter what you're going to do, we've got to practice and play at a higher level than what we did [Wednesday], that's for sure."

With that in mind, many expect Carlyle to reshuffle his lineup for Saturday.

"What will I do?" Carlyle asked when inquired about lineup changes. "Well, there will be some changes."

Some of those changes were taking shape Thursday during practice.

"We worked on controlling the puck and moving the puck more effective," Carlyle said. "We feel we did a poor job managing the puck in all three zones."

In addition to better puck management, the Maple Leafs need to play faster. The transition was slow exiting the defensive end, giving the Bruins ample time to establish that great forecheck that was a staple during their 2011 Stanley Cup run.

"I would suggest maybe one or both of them will play," Carlyle said. "There will also be some changes up front. We need to get more from our group from a work ethic and execution standpoint. We never really got anything going for our hockey club against the Bruins."

How does Carlyle expect to slow down the Bruins?

"Don't give them the puck so often would be a start," he said. "They played a hard trapping game and forced us to make some mistakes, and we didn't handle the pressure they applied to us very well."

Filling in for Kessel on the top line with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak at Thursday's practice was Ryan Hamilton. Carlyle also reunited center Nazem Kadri with Joffrey Lupul and Nikolai Kulemin. Kadri was between Clarke MacArthur and Leo Komarov for Game 1.

Here were the line combinations for the Maple Leafs during practice Thursday:

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Ryan Hamilton

Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Nikolai Kulemin

Clarke MacArthur - Joe Colborne - Matt Frattin

Jay McClement - Mikhail Grabovski - Leo Komarov

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf

Jake Gardiner - Mark Fraser

John-Michael Liles - Ryan O'Byrne

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Extras: Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren

Missing: Cody Franson (foot bruise), Michael Kostka (broken finger), Phil Kessel (maintenance day)


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