Get your game notes: Bruins at Leafs

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• BOS has won its last five games – the last four of those at home – despite missing two star players during that span. D Zdeno Chara (knee) has not played since Oct. 23, and C David Krejci (lower-body) has missed 3 of the last 5 games.

• During the win streak, the line of LW Brad Marchand, RW Reilly Smith and C Patrice Bergeron has combined for 8G-11A.

• In the last four games, Bergeron has stepped up offensively with 2G-4A. In his first 12 games of the season, he had just 1G-5A.

• This is the Bruins’ longest win streak since March 2-22 of last season, when they won 12 straight games.

• 20-year-old C Seth Griffith had a backwards, between-the-legs goal in the Bruins’ last game, a 4-2 win vs. NJ on Monday.

• Chara, who suffered a knee injury vs. NYI on Oct. 23, has not played since and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks from that time.

• Krejci will not make the trip to Toronto. He played in just 2 of the 5 games during the Bruins’ win streak (Oct. 30 and Nov. 6). He has a suspected hip problem, according to the Boston Herald.

• TOR is 5-1-1 since losing to BOS, 4-1, in the teams’ first meeting this season on Oct. 25. The Maple Leafs have scored 5 goals in each of their last two games and have just 2 regulation losses in their past 10 games, in which they are 6-2-2.

• RW Phil Kessel (8G-11A) is tied for third in the NHL with 19 points this season. The 5-time 30-goal scorer was a fifth overall draft pick by BOS in 2006 and spent the first three seasons of his career playing with the Bruins before being traded to the Maple Leafs on Sept. 19, 2009. He’s now in his 6th season with TOR.

• TOR traded two first-round draft picks and a second-round pick to BOS for Kessel. Those first-round picks ended up being D Dougie Hamilton – who has 3G-7A this season with the Bruins – and C Tyler Seguin, who is now with DAL and is tied for the NHL lead with 12 goals this season. The second-round pick, C Jared Knight, has yet to play an NHL game.

• TOR is 7-1-1 when Kessel has a point this season and 1-4-1 when he does not have a point.

• In his first game vs. BOS this season, Kessel was held to 0 points and a -2 rating. In that same game, the first for the Bruins this season without D Zdeno Chara (knee), D Dougie Hamilton had 1G-2A and C Patrice Bergeron had 2A.

STANDOUT STATS

• BOS: Five of D Dougie Hamilton’s 10 points this season have come on game-winning goals. He scored the game-winning goal on Oct. 18 vs. BUF and assisted on deciding goals on Oct. 25 at TOR, on Oct. 30 at BUF, on Nov. 4 vs. FLA and on Nov. 6 vs. EDM.

• TOR: The Maple Leafs are 5-0-0 when scoring first this season and 3-5-2 when their opponent scores first.

NOTABLE INJURIES

• BOS: D David Krejci (lower-body) and C Zdeno Chara (knee) will not play tonight. D Kevan Miller (shoulder) practiced on Monday and is day-to-day.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

• BOS: C Patrice Bergeron has 16G-29A in 45 career GP vs. TOR, including 3 game-winning goals. Bergeron had 5G-3A in 4 games vs. TOR last season (2 points in each game).

• BOS: G Tuukka Rask is 10-2-0 in 12 career starts vs. TOR with a 1.59 GAA.

• TOR: C Tyler Bozak has 3G-2A in his last 3 games vs. BOS.

• TOR: RW Phil Kessel had 5A in 4 games vs. BOS last season and has 3G-11A in 27 career GP vs. BOS.

BOSTON TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• C Carl Soderberg (5G-8A) leads the Bruins with 13 points this season, and he’s had 2G-4A during the team’s current 5-game winning streak.

• The Swedish forward is in just his second full NHL season, having come from the Swedish Elite League, which he led in scoring with 31 goals and 60 points in the 2012-13 season. But he was left off the Swedish roster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

• C Patrice Bergeron is second on the Bruins with 12 points this season, and he has an NHL-leading 207 faceoff wins and ranks second in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 63.1%.

• Bergeron scored the tying and game-winning goals against TOR in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to give the Bruins a 5-4 (OT) victory after trailing by 3 goals in the third period.

• D Torey Krug returned to the Bruins’ lineup on Monday for the first time since breaking his finger in a game vs. MIN on Oct. 28. He had one shot on goal and a +1 rating in 21:16 on the ice on Monday vs. NJ.

• G Tuukka Rask was taken 21st overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2005 draft. But he was traded to the Bruins for goaltender Andrew Raycroft before playing even a single game with the Maple Leafs. Raycroft, meanwhile, retired at the end of last season.

• Rask is 8-4-0 this season with a 2.44 GAA and .909 SV%. He has allowed just 7 goals in his last 4 games.

• In 2013-14, Rask won the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) after winning a career-high 36 games. He finished the season with a 2.04 GAA, .930 SV% and an NHL-leading 7 shutouts.

TORONTO TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• RW Phil Kessel has led the Maple Leafs in points in every season since 2009-10. He has skated in 379 consecutive games. The last time he missed a game was Oct. 31, 2009 against Montreal.

• The two-time Olympian led the U.S. in scoring with 8 points at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

• C Tyler Bozak (5G-7A), a Ukrainian-Canadian, is second on the Maple Leafs with 12 points this season and leads the team with 4 power-play goals.

• LW James van Riemsdyk, second behind Kessel with 7 points for the U.S. at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, is also second behind Kessel on the Maple Leafs this season with 6 goals.

• RW Carter Ashton was suspended 20 games without pay on Thursday for violating the terms of the NHL/NHL Players’ Association Performance Enhancing Substances Program. He is eligible to return Dec. 20. In a statement, Ashton said he used another athlete’s inhaler during training to relieve himself from an asthma attack.

• C Daniel Winnik returned to practice on Tuesday after being held out for two games because of concussion protocol. Winnik left TOR’s game at COL last Thursday after falling head first.

• G James Reimer (6 starts) and Jonathan Bernier (9 starts) have split time in TOR’s net this season. Reimer has a 1.75 GAA in his last six games against the Bruins, while Bernier has a 4.46 career GAA against the Bruins and was pulled in the third period of their last meeting after allowing four goals. Bernier is expected to start tonight.

Leafs try to remember how Bruins ’embarrassed’ them

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Less than three weeks ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Boston Bruins and got embarrassed.

That 4-1 loss, televised nationally on Hockey Night in Canada no less, reportedly led to a dressing-down from coach Randy Carlyle, as well as a players-only meeting.

Since then, the Leafs have won five of seven, with only one poor performance mixed in. Tonight, they’ll get a chance for redemption, at home, versus those same Bruins (on NBCSN).

“We’ve tried to stimulate our memory about how embarrassed we were in the performance we put forth in that game,” Carlyle said this morning, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.

In case you require a similar memory stimulation, the Leafs were down 1-0 after just 3:27 of the first period. They were outshot 23-15 over the first two periods. They trailed 4-0 before scoring late in the third.

This was the Boston goal that got the most attention:

Which led to booing, and even a mocking “Let’s Go Raptors” chant, apparently.

“We got beat in every aspect of the game again,” captain Dion Phaneuf said. “It’s inexcusable. Tonight we weren’t even close.”

That’s their motivation.

NHL on NBCSN: Hot Bruins, Leafs continue one of NHL’s oldest battles

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NBCSN will feature a doubleheader for Wednesday Night Rivalry. In the first half of the event, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Boston Bruins at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Boston isn’t at 100 percent strength – in fact, the team is nowhere near it. The Bruins have been playing without blueliners David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, and Zdeno Chara. They got Torey Krug back on Monday, but yesterday the team revealed that David Krejci would miss at least two more contests.

None of that has slowed them down. The Bruins have still cruised to five straight victories to improve to 10-6-0 this season. They’ll look to make it six against a very familiar foe.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Maple Leafs faced Boston in the 2013 playoffs in a series that is difficult for any Torontonian to easily forget. Toronto had a 4-1 lead midway through the third period of Game 7 when the Bruins started a comeback run that eliminated the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron netted the game-tying and winning goals in that contest and he’s remained a thorn in Toronto’s side since that contest.

When Boston and Toronto met for the first time this season on Oct. 25, Bergeron had two assists to aid the Bruins in their 4-1 victory. That was also the night Bergeron reached the 500-point milestone and given that he’s taking a four-game point streak into tonight’s contest, it’s fair to say that he remains a series threat for the Maple Leafs.

As does goaltender Tuukka Rask, should the Bruins decide to put him between the pipes tonight. There are few teams he torments more than the Maple Leafs as he’s posted a career 10-2-0 record, 1.59 GAA, and .945 save percentage against them in 14 career regular season contests.

As they always do, the Toronto Maple Leafs will look to Phil Kessel to lead the charge tonight, but while he is typically an imposing player, the Bruins have traditionally done a great job of shutting him down. Since he was traded from Boston to Toronto, Kessel has just three goals, 14 points, and a minus-24 rating in 27 regular season contests against his former squad. He was held off the scoresheet and was minus-two in Toronto’s loss to Boston earlier this season.

The silver lining is that the Leafs’ secondary scorers have stepped up lately. Toronto won back-to-back games over the weekend and its 10 goals over that span were scored by nine different players. If the Maple Leafs display that kind of depth tonight against Boston then the Bruins’ winning streak will be in serious jeopardy.

PHT Morning Skate: (Photos) What Bruins would look like with Julien’s 85-86 ‘stache

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Charlie Miller saw Claude Julien’s mustache from 1985-86 and thought: I wonder what it would look like if the entire Bruins’ team was sporting it? This was the result…

You can view the rest of them here.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs will wear special jerseys on Dec. 5 in honor of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. They’re also going to try to raise money for his son. (NHL.com)

Trevor van Riemsdyk appeared to score his first career goal on Sunday, but it was later credited to Kris Versteeg. For his part, van Riemsdyk wasn’t surprised by the scoring change and he seems to be taking the news well. (CSN Chicago)

Should Daniel Alfredsson be inducted into the Hall of Fame? (Grantland)

Highlights from St. Louis’ 6-1 victory over Buffalo:

Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle (hand) might not be pain free by the end of the week, but he might be back soon anyways. (The Bergen Record)

You’ve probably seen Seth Griffith’s goal of the year candidate at this point, but if that’s the first you’ve heard of him, then you probably don’t know the odds he’s had to overcome to get this far. (OHL Writers)

The Philadelphia Flyers are doing their best to make sure they don’t squander the momentum they’ve gained during their five-day break from games. (CSN Philly)

Report: Bruins interested in acquiring defenseman

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Going into the 2014-15 campaign, the Boston Bruins were in a tough cap position and trading a defenseman seemed like the best way to address it given their deep blueline. Their circumstances have changed though and now the Bruins have expressed an interest in acquiring a defenseman, according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.

The Bruins have been hit hard by injuries lately and are consequently missing defensemen David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, and Zdeno Chara. The only silver lining is that Krug might be able to return on Monday.

This would naturally be less of an issue if the Bruins had found a way to stay under the ceiling without trading Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders on Oct. 4, but that’s being said with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Significant trades at this stage of the season are not unheard of, but they are rare. That being said, it’s not clear what the Bruins are looking for and they might be more interested in a stopgap measure that can help ease the team through this period until some of their regulars are healthy enough to play.