MAPLE LEAFS (20-14-3) at BRUINS (19-15-3)
TV: TVA, SN, NESN
Season series: The Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 behind a goal and two assists from defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Toronto won 6-1 on Nov. 12 with Phil Kessel scoring two goals. Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak is the leading scorer in this series with four points.
Maple Leafs team scope: The Maple Leafs, who have won once in their past six games, have to be glad to be out of Florida after losing to the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and Monday, respectively. Their five-game post-Christmas road trip continues with their first visit to Boston. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who has a .921 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average in 26 games, missed the games in Florida because of illness but told TSN in Toronto on Tuesday he feels well enough to return to the lineup. Forward Leo Komarov, who has been practicing in an attempt to return from a concussion that's kept him out of the lineup since Nov. 29, might also be ready to face the Bruins. He needs doctors' clearance, assistant coach Steve Spott said.
Bruins team scope: The hunger and commitment coach Claude Julien was looking for after a 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last weekend came out in one of the Bruins' most complete wins of the season Monday. Boston won 5-2 against the Detroit Red Wings, but must follow up that performance with another strong outing against Toronto. The Bruins might benefit from the returns of forwards Patrice Bergeron (their leading scorer with 27 points) and Milan Lucic. Neither played against the Red Wings, but each practiced Tuesday and Julien said a decision would be made on their status on game day. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was pulled from his last start against the Maple Leafs, but he is 10-3-0 with a .937 save percentage and 1.85 GAA against Toronto.
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