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Maple Leafs-Bruins Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (5-2-2) at Boston Bruins (4-5-2).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT.

The Boston Bruins, struggling defensively, look for only their second win in seven games when they host the streaking Toronto Maple Leafs.

Taking on the Leafs for the second time in four days, the Bruins are 1-3-2 following a three-game winning streak.

The Bruins have managed to earn two points in their last two games, Monday's 5-4 shootout loss to Toronto and Wednesday's 4-3 overtime defeat to Carolina.

"We're playing well and just having trouble closing them out," defenseman Brian Leetch said Wednesday. "We've just got to get better as a team at learning how to win."

Leetch and Brad Boyes both had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's loss.

The Bruins have allowed three goals or more in each of their last six games. They've surrendered 41 goals in 11 games, third-most in the Eastern Conference.

Backup goaltender Hannu Toivonen will take his shot at improving the Bruins' goals-against average Thursday. Toivonen is likely to get the start after it was announced that top goalie Andrew Raycroft will be out for a week with a strained hamstring. Raycroft was injured Wednesday night.

Toronto, meanwhile, has won five of six and hasn't played since Monday's win over the Bruins when Eric Lindros scored the only goal in the shootout. Ed Belfour made 49 saves and three more in the shootout to lead the Maple Leafs.

"It's just crazy," the 40-year-old Belfour said. "An emotional roller-coaster. One minute you're a slug, the next minute you're a hero."

The fans chanted "Eddie! Eddie! after Belfour made a series of impressive saves in overtime and the shootout. He struggled in the second period, blowing a 2-0 lead.

"It's a great feeling to know that even when you're not having a great game, when you give up two goals you normally don't, they are still supporting you," Belfour said.

Lindros has six goals and one assist in his last seven games.

STANDINGS: Maple Leafs - 12 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division. Bruins - 10 points, 5th place, 4 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Lindros, 7 goals; Bryan McCabe, 12 assists and 15 points; Wade Belak, 28 PIM. Bruins - Glen Murray, 6 goals; Joe Thornton, 10 assists; Murray and Thornton, 12 points; Hal Gill, 23 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Maple Leafs - Power play: 29.6 percent (19 for 64), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (50 for 58), 6th. Bruins - Power play: 18.6 percent (14 for 75), 7th. Penalty killing: 80.8 percent (59 for 73), 20th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (4-2-2, 3.37 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (1-0-0, 2.00). Bruins - Toivonen (1-1-0, 4.49); Jordan Sigalet (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Monday; Maple Leafs 5-4, SO. At Toronto, five players scored for the Maple Leafs. McCabe had a goal and an assist to give him 15 points in nine games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 2-0-1 on the road; Bruins - 1-2-0 at home.

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