Maple Leafs-Bruins Preview
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (21-7-7-3) at Boston Bruins (14-11-9-4).
TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Boston Bruins have been awful at home. They shouldn't expect any
courtesy from the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs when the teams get
together at FleetCenter.
The Bruins began a three-game homestand with a 3-0 loss to Ottawa on
Tuesday, their fifth shutout loss of the season and third during their
nine-game home winless streak (0-5-4).
Boston last won at home on Nov. 20, 3-2 over Washington. The Bruins have not
struggled this badly in Boston since going 0-4-4-1 from Dec. 21, 1999-Jan. 24,
"We're squeezing our sticks harder here," Bruins captain Joe Thornton
said. "We're a lot more freewheeling on the road."
The Bruins have scored 10 goals during their nine-game skid, and more than
one in just two games during that span.
In Tuesday's loss, Boston went without a power-play goal for the fourth
straight game, finishing 0-for-5 overall. The Bruins managed just 13 shots over
the final two periods, including just four in the third, and allowed their
eighth short-handed goal of the season, second in the league.
"It's frustrating, without a doubt," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said.
"We're not in this to lose, we're in this to win. We're looking to get into
the win column on a consistent basis. Our scorers right now are having trouble
finding the back of the net. We just have to continue to fight through it."
After their franchise-record 16-game point streak ended with a 3-1 loss to
the New York Islanders on Saturday, Toronto rallied from a two-goal deficit to
tie the Florida Panthers 4-4 on Monday.
Owen Nolan snapped a nine-game scoreless streak with two goals in the third
"I feel I need to go to the net and create space," Nolan said. "I've had
some opportunities and I haven't scored. But I'm just trying to contribute any
way I can."
Darcy Tucker scored for the third consecutive game and Nik Antropov also had
a goal for Toronto, which got 35 saves from Ed Belfour.
Coach Pat Quinn said after the game center Robert Reichel will miss four to
six weeks because of a shoulder injury sustained Friday against the New York
The Maple Leafs have won the last three meetings with the Bruins, including
a 6-0 victory at FleetCenter on Dec. 4. Belfour is 13-4-3 with four shutouts
lifetime against Boston.