|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, March 20, 2017
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 19,347
Bruins, Maple Leafs meet in battle of playoff contenders
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
- The Maple Leafs have won their first three meetings with Boston this season while outscoring the Bruins at even strength, 13-4. Toronto has not won more than three games in a row versus Boston since producing a five-game streak in 1967.
- Boston's four-game winning streak was stopped by a 7-4 loss at Edmonton last Thursday. The seven goals allowed were the most surrendered by the Bruins in over a year (nine goals allowed versus Los Angeles on 2/9/2016).
- The Maple Leafs dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime to Chicago on Saturday to fall to 7-15 in games lasting past regulation. The 15 overtime/shootout losses are the most suffered by Toronto since the introduction of shootouts in 2005-06 (14 in 2009-10).
- With a goal at Edmonton last Thursday, Brad Marchand matched his career high with 37 in 2016-17. Marchand is currently three behind Sidney Crosby (40) for the NHL lead, as Marchand has a chance to become the first Bruin to pace the league in goals since Phil Esposito in 1974-75 (61).
- David Pastrnak's scoring streak has reached 11 games, the longest single-season stretch by a Bruin since Patrice Bergeron scored in 12 consecutive team games between 3/17/2014 and 4/8/2014. Pastrnak has totaled six goals, nine assists and 15 points during his current spree.
- William Nylander has collected exactly one point in each of his last seven games, establishing the longest scoring streak of his NHL career. Nylander's six assists in March are one shy of his career best for any month (seven in October 2016).
- Thornton has torn ACL, future unclear
- Blackhawks fire assistant after sweep
- No Shattenkirk is no problem for Blues
- NHL second round offering much intrigue
- Sens find inspiration in several players
TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins have been looking over their shoulders at the Toronto Maple Leafs as the teams jockey for playoff spots and seedings.
The teams have a chance to meet face to face Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins (38-27-6) have 82 points in 71 games and the Maple Leafs (32-23-15) have 79 points in 70 games. Both were in playoff spots entering Sunday.
The Bruins are 12-4-0 since Bruce Cassidy took over as coach and they have four points of a possible six in their past three games, all on the road.
They are still smarting, however, from a 7-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
"We'll park this one," Cassidy said. "We lost the game. That's the way we look at it. I'm not going to sum up the road trip. We lost this game. We won (Wednesday at Calgary). We won on Monday (at Vancouver). Our goal is to go into Toronto and play well."
The Maple Leafs are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.
"Every day you talk about how big the game is, but that's what we're going to do right until the end, obviously," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "You can tell by looking at it. That's a huge point for us (Saturday), an absolutely huge point, but we've got to keep getting better.
"I thought we were, as good as we played at times, I thought we were very respectful of them and I'd like to see us go after them a little bit more. That's all part of the process too."
Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews ended a seven-game stretch without a goal or assist when he scored his 32nd goal of the season on Saturday.
"He has been playing well throughout the games he hasn't been getting a point," said teammate William Nylander, who combined with Matthews on the goal. "So, I mean, when you're playing well, that's basically what matters as long as you're creating. Now I'm happy for him that he was able to score a goal (Saturday)."
If playing against the Blackhawks was a way of measuring themselves, the Maple Leafs feel they did well.
"I think it could have gone either way," Matthews said. "They're obviously one of the best teams in the league so I thought we did a pretty good job for all of us holding each other accountable, making sure everybody played the full 60 minutes. I thought we actually played pretty solid."
This is a big week for the Bruins as far as meeting teams that have playoff hopes.
They follow the game in Toronto by returning home to play the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday before visiting the New York Islanders on Saturday.
"You have to realize that every night, every team, every game, you have to show up and be good," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "You can't rely on the success we've had lately. Hopefully, we realize that and go from there."
Bergeron missed the team's practice Sunday on a maintenance day and is accompanying the team to Toronto.
"I expect him to play, but I'll know more in a couple of hours," Cassidy said.
Drew Stafford also missed practice because his wife gave birth to twins and will meet the team in Toronto. Tim Schaller remains out with a lower-body injury.
Boston recalled Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly on an emergency basis from Providence of the American Hockey League.
Acciari has two assists in 19 games with Boston this season. Kuraly has played five games with Boston in November.
Tuukka Rask is expected to start in goal for the Bruins against the Maple Leafs, who will start Frederik Andersen.
Updated March 19, 2017