Skidding Bruins renew rivalry with Maple Leafs before All-Star break
The Boston Bruins will be out to end their season-long three-game losing streak Wednesday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins, who have set a torrid pace this season, looked tired on Sunday in losing 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Bruins are 1-2-1 so far in a five-game road trip that started with a victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron feels that fatigue has been an issue for the Bruins, who were playing their third game in four days on Sunday.
"You can't deny that," Bergeron said. "That being said, you have to be pros and make sure you bring it every night. Back-to-back on the road, lots of hockey, that's part of it. But it's nothing that other teams are not seeing, right? It's part of the schedule that we all have. We have to be better.
"We talked about facing adversity at some point in the year, and here we are. We have to face that as a team together, roll up our sleeves and learn from what hasn't been there the last few games."
Wednesday's game will be the final one for both teams before the All-Star break.
The Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Washington Capitals 5-1 on Sunday and have split their first two games without Auston Matthews (knee).
The Bruins and Maple Leafs each have won at home in the first two meetings between the teams this season.
"(The Bruins have) been the most consistent in the NHL because they believe in what they're doing and just go back out and do it again," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "The results haven't been there for them recently, but that won't change their mindset. It's a great challenge for us because you want to go into the break feeling good. ... There's lots of excitement for that game. Our job is to keep pace, apply pressure."
The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division by 11 points over the second-place Maple Leafs.
"They're on an incredible pace and they'll be hard to catch, but that's what we're going to try and do," said Toronto's William Nylander, who scored his 28th goal of the season on Sunday.
But from the Bruins' perspective, the Leafs were already too close for comfort.
"They're just behind us in the standings," Bruins center Charlie Coyle said on Tuesday. "We know what it means. From here on out, every point matters. We want to keep our distance as best we can. Keep playing the right way. Playoff time is going to come right around the corner."
Boston's power play continued its recent struggles, going 0-for-6 on Sunday.
"We just need a little bit of rest," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. "I'm not worried about our power play. Our players are too talented and competitive."
Boston recalled forwards Jakub Lauko and Vinni Lettieri from AHL affiliate Providence on Tuesday. Lettieri, however, will not travel to Toronto after suffering a lower-body injury in practice.
For Toronto, Ilya Samsonov is scheduled to make his seventh straight start Wednesday. With Matt Murray (ankle) out, Joseph Woll will be the backup goaltender.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 1, 2023