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Boston ready to close out first half in victory

01.21.09 at 6:37 pm ET

The Bruins haven’t lost three games in a row this season thus far, and they’re certainly not looking to do that as they finish off the pre All-Star Break portion of the schedule with a tilt against the blue-collar, hard-driving Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs impressed the Bruins with their hard-nosed style earlier this season, and it should really be a grinding battle between a pair of weary, bloodied-but-not-beaten opponents at the Air Canada Center.

The B’s have outscored the Leafs by a 19-12 margin in taking three out of four games this far this season, but this is a far different Black and Gold team than the one that fired up the red lamp eight times against Toronto back on Dec. 18. Should be an interesting battle on the frozen sheet with Aaron Ward potentially returning this evening after missing Boston’s last three games with possibly the worst charley horse known to man.

Ward looked like he a little “Eye of the Bruin” going on when he was huffing and puffing his way through conditioning/testing drills at the end of practice Tuesday mornings, so expect a bucket load of patented Ward forearm shivers if he does skate tonight.

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