Leafs aim for big sweep of home-and-home with Bruins
Toronto won its first game against Boston in nearly two years on Saturday and the Maple Leafs will aim for a home-and-home sweep when they visit the Bruins for Monday's Original Six clash at TD Garden.
The Maple Leafs ended an eight-game losing streak in the series, holding off the Bruins in Saturday's 3-2 decision at Air Canada Centre. It was the first win for Toronto against its Northeast Division rivals since March 31, 2011.
On Monday, the Leafs will try to halt a four-game skid in Boston, where Toronto has lost 10 of its last 12 contests.
"We have three more periods in a very tough building where we haven't had success before and it's going to take a more intense effort than we had tonight to go in there and have success," Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle said after Saturday's win.
Toronto has won two of its last three games and has earned a point in four straight outings (2-0-2). The Maple Leafs, who are after their first postseason appearance since 2004, are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Nazem Kadri, Mikhail Grabovski and Frazer McLaren all scored goals Saturday as Toronto jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding on for the win. Boston received third-period goals from Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, but goaltender James Reimer came up big for the Leafs with 31 saves.
Reimer stopped 11-of-13 shots in the third period and Toronto was outshot by a 33-13 margin in the win,
The victory marked Toronto's first points of any kind in this series since winning the 4-3 shootout decision in Boston on March 31, 2011.
Kadri has three goals and six assists during a four-game point streak. He leads Toronto with 34 points this season and is tied for the team lead in goals with 14.
Toronto, which is 9-6-1 on the road this season, will get forward Joffrey Lupul back for the rematch against Boston. Lupul was suspended two games for a hit Wednesday against Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman and he served the final part of that ban on Saturday.
After losses in three of their last four games, the Bruins will try to break through their worst stretch of the season on Monday. Boston is still 20-7-3 on the year and trails Montreal by two points for first place in the Northeast Division. The Bruins are also the East's fourth-seeded club and find themselves six points ahead of Toronto in the standings.
Bruins netminder Anton Khudobin stopped only 8-of-11 shots on Saturday before being pulled in favor of Tuukka Rask early in the third period.
"The way we gave up the three goals -- they were mistakes," Boston head coach Claude Julien said.
Rask is expected to get the start on Monday and is 7-1-0 with a 1.41 goals against average in 10 career games against Toronto.
Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk sat out Saturday's game with a bruised right foot and is questionable for Monday. Boychuk sustained the injury after taking a shot in the foot at Friday's practice.
Boston has four straight on home ice and is 10-2-1 as the host this season.