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Maple Leafs, Bruins meet for first time since playoffs

by Mike Battaglino

MAPLE LEAFS (11-5-0) at BRUINS (9-5-1)


Last 10: Toronto 6-4-0; Boston 6-3-1

Season series: This is the first of four games. Last season, the Boston Bruins won three of four in the regular season before facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins took a 3-1 lead in the series, which they won in seven games.

Big story: Toronto returns to TD Garden for the first time since blowing a 4-2 lead with 1:22 remaining in the third period of Game 7. Boston scored the next three goals, the last by Patrice Bergeron 6:05 into overtime, to advance. The Bruins went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

James Reimer, who allowed those three goals (and the first two), will get the start after Jonathan Bernier played against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

"Sure, we'll want to go into Boston and have a good game," Reimer told the Toronto Sun. "It's a new season and we've got over what's happened. … I'd want to go in there and play well, but even if you win, it doesn't prove anything. If we were to play them again in the playoffs, that would be the retribution."

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Toronto had five days off before a 2-1 shootout win against New Jersey in David Clarkson's first game against his former team. That reunion, and the Hall of Fame festivities in Toronto, helped put the return to Boston in the background, but there will be no escaping it Saturday.

"It's something that happened, something we'll have to answer to, something we have to deal with," center Jay McClement told the Sun. "But our goal is to get into that situation again and handle it a lot better.

"We have other concerns right now. We have to get our game back to where it should be. [Boston] is not something that has been brought up around here."

With injuries sidelining forwards Dave Bolland, Tyler Bozak and Colton Orr, Toronto used seven defensemen Friday. Six forwards logged more than 20 minutes in the first of the back-to-back.

Bruins: Boston had lost four of five and held a 1-0 lead heading into the third period against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The Bruins then outscored the Panthers 3-1, and outshot them 14-7, to complete a 4-1 win.

"I think the important thing is to build on that period, and hopefully carry that [into] the start for tomorrow night, and hopefully get better by the end of that game as well," coach Claude Julien told Bruins Beat on the team website Friday.

Boston started the season 7-2-0 before the 1-3-1 stretch that included two home losses.

"During the course of a year you go through those, but you want to make them as short as possible and get back to everyone feeling good and confident and getting things rolling again," forward Jarome Iginla said.

Who's hot: Reimer is 4-1-0 with a .942 save percentage that was tied for third in the NHL. … Bruins defenseman Torey Krug scored Thursday, his sixth goal of the season, tying him for the League lead at the position with Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. Forward Reilly Smith has four points (one goal) in his past three games.

Injury report: Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser (knee) returned to play Friday; Orr (undisclosed) was scratched. Bolland (ankle) and Bozak (lower body) are out indefinitely. … The Bruins are healthy.

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