The Toronto Maple Leafs ended a four-game losing streak on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, but they will face a sterner test Saturday night against the visiting Boston Bruins.
The surging Bruins have won seven straight and lost just once in 11 games this season after defeating the New York Rangers 5-2 on Thursday and are 3-0-0 on a road trip that ends in Toronto.
“We’re playing hard for each other, we’re finding different ways to win, different guys are stepping up every night and that’s the sign of a good team,” said Nick Foligno, who had two assists for the Bruins on Thursday. “We’re really proud of the fact we care about each other in that room. We’ve found that camaraderie, that brotherhood and it’s worked for us.”
They will be difficult opponents for the Maple Leafs, who returned home from a 1-2-2 road trip to defeat the Flyers 5-2 on Wednesday.
“We’ll take the good, take the bad and move on,” said Auston Matthews, who had a goal and an assist on Wednesday. “We definitely want to continue to elevate our pace, elevate our competitiveness. We’re going to continue to need to take steps moving forward.”
JohnTavares, who had three goals and an assist on Wednesday, said he was focused on the next practice, which was Friday. .
“Instead of looking at how many games, how many opponents we have, let’s just focus on Friday and improving what was good (against the Flyers),” the Maple Leafs captain said.
The Bruins had goals from David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle, Trent Frederic, Jake DeBrusk, and Hampus Lindholm in New York.
Lindholm had a career-best four points with three assists and the overtime winner in a 6-5 comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
“He’s a horse out there,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “Every time he’s out there, it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re getting the puck out.’ And good things are happening at the other end.”
Ilya Samsonov will start in goal for the Maple Leafs on Saturday. Erik Kallgren will face the host Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Linus Ullmark is expected to start in goal for Boston.
“He was a rock back there (Thursday),” Montgomery said of Ullmark. “Good chemistry in there right now. No sense in making too many changes.”
The Bruins will be without goaltender Jeremy Swayman (lower-body injury) and defenseman Derek Forbort (finger) for a matter of weeks, Montgomery said.
The duo was injured in the game in Pittsburgh.
The Bruins recalled third-string goalie Keith Kinkaid from Providence of the American Hockey League.
“It’s an opportunity I was working for the past two years in New York (with the Rangers), and they never really wanted to give it to me,” Kinkaid said. “It stinks that Sway had to get injured like that. I wish him the best in recovery. I’m going to do my best to fill in for him.”
The Bruins announced Thursday night that Forbort is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks after undergoing a successful open reduction and internal fixation surgery on his right middle finger. Forbort sustained the injury in the first period on Tuesday.
Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren (hernia) is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday.
The Maple Leafs recalled forward Wayne Simmonds from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and sent defenseman Filip Kral to the Marlies.
–Field Level Media