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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.