Boston at Toronto
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Sunday, December 8, 2013
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
After providing the signature goal in last spring's epic first-round playoff series, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron continued to haunt the Toronto Maple Leafs by scoring twice in the teams' first meeting this season. Bergeron and the Bruins look to keep the Maple Leafs under their thumb on Sunday, when they travel to Ontario to open a four-game road trip. Captain Zdeno Chara scored with 13 seconds remaining in the third period as Boston skated to a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday to improve to 11-3-1 in its last 15 games.
Shawn Thornton will not be participating in Sunday's contest - rather, he will have a hearing with the league following his brutal altercation with Brooks Orpik. The Bruins enforcer grabbed the Penguins defenseman and slew-footed him before unleashing two uncontested punches to the head, causing Orpik to be stretchered off the ice. While much less barbaric, Toronto slugged its way past provincial-rival Ottawa on Saturday for its second straight victory following a five-game winless streak (0-3-2).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN, NESN (Boston), RDS2 (Toronto)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (19-8-2): Thornton admitted his actions were prompted by Orpik's first-shift hit on Loui Eriksson, who suffered his second concussion in less than two months. "It's always my job to defend my teammates," Thornton said. "I've prided myself for a long time to stay within the lines. It’s hard for me to talk about it right now. I can’t say I’m sorry enough." Boston already is dealing with injuries to defensemen Johnny Boychuk (back) and Adam McQuaid (lower body) - although both are expected to accompany the team on the road trip.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (16-11-3): James van Riemsdyk collected a goal and two assists in regulation and scored the decisive goal in the shootout as Toronto posted a 4-3 triumph in the Battle of Ontario. Van Riemsdyk is riding a four-game point streak but has just two goals in 15 career meetings with Boston. The Maple Leafs have yielded 50 shots on goal in consecutive games as Jonathan Bernier stopped 48 in a 3-2 overtime win over Dallas on Thursday before James Reimer finished with 47 saves versus the Senators.
1. With Thornton (hearing) and C Chris Kelly (lower body) sidelined, Boston will insert RW Jordan Caron into the lineup. The team is expected to recall a player from Providence of the American Hockey League on Sunday.
2. Toronto RW Phil Kessel, a former Bruin, has collected four goals and four assists during his six-game point streak.
3. Chara, who scored his fourth goal in seven games on Saturday, also tallied in the Bruins' 3-1 win over Toronto on Nov. 9
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 1
Stats and Records