|Leafs without Tavares for home test vs. Bruins|
Leafs without Tavares for home test vs. Bruins
The Boston Bruins visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night in a rematch of their first-round playoff series last season.
And the season before.
The Bruins have beaten the Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round of each of the last two seasons, further cementing their status as a Toronto nemesis.
The teams will also play Tuesday night in Boston.
The Maple Leafs will be playing without their captain, John Tavares, who will be out for at least two weeks with a broken finger. He picked up the injury in the third period of a 4-3 road loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, when he was hit by a shot from Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly.
"(After) Morgan's shot (hit the finger) late in the third, it went pretty numb," Tavares told reporters Friday. "So, it didn't feel very good and I just went back to the bench and it was a little more painful but the adrenaline and the inflammation really hadn't set in."
Nonetheless, Tavares returned to the ice and scored Toronto's third goal against the Caps.
With Tavares out, Ilya Mikheyev will join Mitch Marner and Alex Kerfoot on a line.
The Bruins are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
David Pastrnak continued his hot scoring for the Bruins in that one with two power-play goals.
The 23-year-old has eight goals this season, with six in his past two games. He notched four in the win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. By scoring the opener Thursday, he had tallied five straight Boston goals, one short of Glen Murray's club record set in 2004.
"Obviously, it's going in for me now," Pastrnak told reporters. "But, unfortunately, we were unable to get two points (Thursday), so that's all that matters. ... I'm just feeling good on the ice, so I'm trying to do my best for the team and focusing on playing my hockey and how I can help this team."
"He's a goal scorer in this league, he's proven that," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "There's times he can get streaky -- pucks flying in on the power play a lot, five-on-five as well. He's getting a few breaks around the net, but he's finishing his opportunities. He's around the net, right? So, it's a good lesson. Get there."
The Maple Leafs and Bruins have a long history as Original Six teams, and it has only grown more intense in recent seasons.
"It'll be fun for us," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "What's interesting is in the league it doesn't matter who you play every night, as you can see, there's nothing to pick between the teams. Night after night you're in a real grind. Obviously, we have a history with Boston, they've eliminated us from the playoffs two years in a row. ... We think there's a whole other level for our group and we've got to keep getting better."
Frederik Andersen is expected to start in goal for the Maple Leafs on Saturday after sitting out the game Wednesday and playing in the win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Cassidy said Jaroslav Halak will start in goal Saturday for Boston.
David Krejci (upper-body injury) and Joakim Nordstrom (foot) will not play for Boston in Toronto. Patrice Bergeron (lower body) will make the trip and likely will the Maple Leafs.
--Field Level Media