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Maple Leafs look to sweep homestand as they host the Bruins on Hockey Night in Canada

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
2 months ago
Thursday night was another stressful win for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-3 in the shootout. It was the second consecutive game that went to shootout for the Maple Leafs, and with the Boston Bruins coming into town tonight, Toronto will need to play a much better all-around game against one of the league’s best teams.

Maple Leafs lineup:

The Maple Leafs have been hit with the injury bug on the blue line this season, and against the Kraken, they rolled out a blue line with three of their opening-day regulars not in the lineup. As most know, John Klingberg, Timothy Liljegren, and now Mark Giordano are all sidelined with an injury, forcing Toronto to play William Lagesson and Simon Benoit more minutes than they would’ve hoped for through the quarter mark of the season.
Well, things don’t get easier tonight when Toronto plays host to Boston, and they will be rolling out the same lineup they used against Florida and Seattle. According to Mark Masters, these were the lines at the Maple Leafs’ skate earlier this morning.
The only lineup change for Sheldon Keefe’s squad tonight is Ryan Reaves coming in for Bobby McMann on the fourth line. Joseph Woll is also projected to be the starter for Toronto, with Martin Jones backing him up. It was announced earlier today that Ilya Samsonov is unavailable (illness).

Bruins lineup:

The Boston Bruins will be rolling into town for the first time since early 2023 when they defeated Toronto 5-2 on their home ice. Tonight, Toronto will be looking to pick up their first win against their division rival for the first time since November of 2022, when they narrowly beat the Bruins 2-1.
The Bruins, who have been in a league of their own since the start of last season, have been faltering as of late, as they are 2-3-1 in their last six after starting the season on another historic level.
Here is the Bruins’ projected lineup for tonight’s contest.
 
Forwards:
Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak
James van Riemsdyk – Matt Poitras – Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko – Morgan Geekie – Oskar Steen
Defense:
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Kevin Shattenkirk
 
Head coach Jim Montgomery also confirmed to the media this afternoon that Linus Ullmark will get the start for the Bruins against the Maple Leafs.
 

Players to watch:

Last game, I wrote about the top six and how I expected them to have a bounce-back game against the Kraken. Well, they delivered. Mitch Marner scored a hat-trick, as well as the shootout winner. Auston Matthews picked up two assists, and William Nylander finally got back on the scoresheet with an assist after three straight games without a point.
I’m looking at the top six to have a big game against a great divisional opponent tonight. Matthews and Marner are averaging over a point per game against the Bruins, Nylander has 15 points in 22 career games, and John Tavares has registered 34 points in 42 career games.
Ryan Reaves will also have my attention tonight. As everybody knows, the last time these two teams met, there was a controversial play involving Brad Marchand and Timothy Liljegren, which injured Liljegren and has since placed him on LTIR with a lower-body injury. Where does Ryan Reaves come into play? Well, he was seen chirping Marchand from the bench, but nothing happened on the ice. Does Reaves do anything tonight to stand up for Liljegren, or does he do nothing?
 
You can catch the Maple Leafs and Bruins tonight in action on Sportsnet. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT.
 
(Stats from StatMuse.com)

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