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Preview: Bruins set for divisional showdown against Maple Leafs

The two best in the Atlantic Division face off in their second meeting of the season.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, NHLN, SNO, SNW, CBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Pension Plan Puppets

Know your enemy

  • 26-10-7, 59PTS, 2nd in Atlantic Division
  • Mitchell Marner: 43GP, 16G, 34A, 50PTS; William Nylander: 43GP, 22G, 25A, 47PTS; Auston Matthews: 41GP, 20G, 27A, 47PTS
  • Ilya Samsonov: 12-4-1, 2.33 GAA, .914 save percentage; Matt Murray: 11-4-2, 2.48 GAA, .919 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins jump back into things tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden, looking to get back to business after a blanking.
  • Tonight is sure to be a test for the Bruins. It’s a divisional showdown of the two best teams in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference’s top teams. As is always the case with division games, there’s a little more on the line than losing to the Seattle Kraken. Two big points are at stake in this second half of the season.
  • The Bruins weren’t happy with their first home ice regulation loss of the season on Thursday and will look to reset tonight. They were outskated and outshot for a majority of the game’s first half, with the Kraken able to capitalize on their opportunities while the Bruins couldn’t get a bounce around the net.
  • The two last met on Nov. 5. The Bruins were edged out 2-1 by Toronto. Matthews opened the scoring in the first period before Brad Marchand evened the game with a power-play goal in the second. But Matthews would strike again on a second-period power play.
  • Toronto has been without Matthews for the past two games due to an undisclosed injury. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on Thursday that he’s likely to return for tonight’s game. Prior to his injury, Matthews was on a five-game point streak with three goals and four assists.
  • The B’s have some hot streaking Leafs to contend with. John Tavares has five goals and four assists in his last five games. Marner has three goals and six assists in his last seven games.
  • The Maple Leafs come into town 3-2-1 this month. They last played on Thursday, losing to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1.
  • Projected Bruins’ lines: There was some shuffling among the forwards during yesterday’s practice which is a good indicator of what we could see tonight. Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak skated together on the B’s top line during yesterday’s practice. Head Coach Jim Montgomery dabbled with that line on Thursday for a bit. David Krejci centered Taylor Hall and Craig Smith, while Pavel Zacha slid down to round out the third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. The fourth line had A.J. Greer and Nick Foligno on Tomas Nosek’s wings.
  • Roster moves: It was short-lived but Joona Koppanen was sent back down to Providence yesterday. Greer could re-enter the lineup with the move. Greer missed the last three games due to illness, per the Bruins’ report.

See ya tonight!