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Bruins hold optional morning skate in anticipation of Maple Leafs 11.09.13 at 11:38 am ET
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The Bruins held an optional morning skate Saturday in anticipation of their first meeting of the season with the Maple Leafs. Toronto, who played Friday against the Devils, did not have a morning skate.

The B’s find themselves looking up at the Leafs in the standings, as the Leafs, who have played 16 games to Boston’s 15, are tied atop the Atlantic division with the Lightning. They’re also tied with the Penguins for the most points in the Eastern conference. The B’s have 19 points on the season.

James Reimer is expected to be in net for the Leafs. Reimer was the man between the pipes last May when the Bruins came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period of Game 7 and won in overtime to win their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.

Following the season, the Leafs went out and traded for Jonathan Bernier, with Bernier having started nine games thus far this season to Reimer’s seven.

While being back in net at the Garden might bring up bad memories for Reimer, Claude Julien was quick to provide a reminder that Reimer, who allowed one goal in both Games 5 and 6 as the Leafs came back in the series, was solid for Toronto.

“He was good,” Julien said. “We could look at one little part of one game of his series or we could look at the whole picture. He was good. He’s a good goaltender. It’s unfortunate that sometimes you have to live with those things. We had to live with collapsing against Philadelphia years ago when we had a 3-0 lead, but at the same time it’s important that you look at the positives and what it did it for our team, and what it’s going to do for him in the future.

“I think they’ve got a real good duo right now as far as goaltending is concerned. They’re able to utilize both of those guys, and that’s always key to a team as well.”

Read More: Claude Julien, James Reimer,
Leafs force Game 7 with dramatic win over Bruins 05.12.13 at 10:37 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask delivered another strong performance, but his Bruins teammates couldn't generate enough offense at the other end in Boston's Game 6 loss. (AP)

TORONTO — It isn’t about eliminating the Leafs any more than it is staying alive now for the Bruins, as Toronto handed them a 2-1 loss in Game 6 Sunday to force a winner-take-all Game 7.

The Bruins, who had a 3-1 series lead, could not get to James Reimer again, as the Toronto goalie allowed just one goal for the second straight game, with the one Boston goal not coming until the final 30 seconds of the game on a Milan Lucic tally.

After the teams skated to a scoreless first two periods, Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf tipped a Nazem Kadri shot past Tuukka Rask at 1:48 of the third period to give the Leafs the lead. Phil Kessel later beat Tyler Seguin to a rebound to extend the lead to two goals, which was too much for the Bruins to overcome given the performance of Reimer.

Game 7 will be played Monday at TD Garden, with the winner facing the victor of the Capitals-Rangers series, which also is tied at three games apiece.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

• Any hockey fan had to smirk at the sound of the “Thank You, Seguin” chants that rang throughout Air Canada Centre following the Kessel goal. With another night without a point, Seguin has now put up a goose egg through the first six games of the playoffs while Kessel has three goals and one assist for four points. Seguin needs to rise to the occasion.

David Krejci had a rough go of it on the shift on which Phaneuf scored. A botched drop-pass in the Toronto zone left the B’s behind as the Leafs took the puck the other way. Furthermore, Krejci was gliding back into the zone and let Kadri get the shot off. Had he been hustling, Krejci likely could have broken up the play by knocking the puck away.

• The Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin line had no shots on goal in the first period, with Seguin missing the net on a 3-on-2. Bergeron had a shot on goal late in the first, but it came on the power play and not with his line. Marchand played just 3:49 in the first and registered his first shot on goal in two games late in the second period.

The line came to life early in the second period and had a number of scoring chances, including on one shift in which Bergeron followed a Seguin bid by trying for a wraparound and being stopped by Reimer. On that same shift, a Bergeron slap shot yielded a rebound with lots of open net, but Marchand was battling in front and didn’t see it.

• With Andrew Ference out, Claude Julien inserted Dougie Hamilton into the lineup and broke up the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing in order to have a lefty and righty on each pairing. There was a lot of mixing and matching done on the blue line for the B’s, but Hamilton was used less as the game went on. After playing 4:49 on six shifts in the first period, Hamilton was given only three shifts for 1:31 in the second.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

• For the third straight game, Rask showed up big. Rask made a glove save on a Phaneuf slap shot in the final seconds of the second period to keep it scoreless after shining late in Game 4 and through Game 5. Yes, the Bruins gave up a big series lead against the Leafs, but don’t think this is 2010 all over again for Rask. He’s been one of the B’s most consistent players. The same can’t be said for a lot of guys on this team right now.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton, James Reimer
Second thoughts: Claude Julien reverts to old lines, B’s beat Leafs in shootout 03.25.13 at 9:59 pm ET
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Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin looks for a rebound in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during the first period Monday. (AP)

Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron scored while Tuukka Rask stopped Nikolai Kulemin in the third round of the shootout as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs, 3-2, in overtime Monday night at TD Garden. Rask stopped 23-of-25 shots on the night. The Bruins were without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, scratched earlier in the day with a foot injury.

The first period of action featuring the new lines produced numerous scoring opportunities but no goals. Daniel Paille, skating with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin, had a point-blank chance midway through the period, firing from the left wing. The shot bounced off James Reimer and onto the stick of Bergeron but the backhander was also turned away.

The second line of David Krejci and Nathan Horton was energized by the addition of Brad Marchand, all of whom had scoring opportunities during the first 20 minutes. The Bruins outshot the Leafs, 9-6, in the scoreless period.

Toronto wasted little time taking advantage of a Bruins mistake in the opening moments of the second. Aaron Johnson hit Nazem Kadri in the neutral zone well after Kadri passed the puck, and Johnson was called for interference. Jake Gardiner fed Joffrey Lupul down low to the right of Rask and Lupul put the puck past Rask with 23 seconds left on the power play for a 1-0 Toronto lead.

The Leafs made it 2-0 when Kadri fed a perfect pass to a wide-open Nikolai Kulemin at center ice. Kulemin broke in all alone on Rask and beat the Bruins netminder up top for the two-goal margin. The Leafs had two goals on just nine shots to begin the game.

The Bruins got one goal back when Milan Lucic, moved to the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron for the first two periods, skated in on a rush from center ice and beat Reimer five-hole midway through the second. It was Lucic’s fifth goal of the season but his first since Feb. 24 at Florida, a span of 15 games.

The Bruins trailed 2-1 after two periods, despite outshooting the Leafs, 21-14. Looking for more punch, Claude Julien went back to his original lines with 13 minutes left in regulation, re-uniting Marchand with Bergeron and Seguin and putting Lucic back on the line with Nathan Horton and David Krejci.

That paid dividends several shifts later when Marchand fed Dougie Hamilton, who skated behind the Leafs net. Hamilton found Bergeron all alone in the slot and Bergeron beat Reimer for his ninth goal of the season that tied the game with 9:24 left.

Rask made a glove save on Kadri from the left circle with 2:18 left in regulation to preserve the tie. Just over a minute later, Rask stopped Lupul from almost the same spot on a drop pass from Kadri. The Bruins outhit the Leafs, 10-5, in the final 20 minutes as they worked for the equalizer. Rask came up big again on Lupul with 2:10 left in overtime, stopping the forward in close from the bottom of the left circle.

The Bruins are off Tuesday before hosting Montreal Wednesday night at TD Garden. For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia from the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Boston Bruins, James Reimer, Milan Lucic, NHL
Morning skate notes: James Reimer starting for Leafs 12.03.11 at 11:42 am ET
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The Bruins got back on the ice Saturday morning in anticipation for the second game of a home-and-home with the Maple Leafs. Boston currently leads Toronto by one point in the Northeast division after Wednesday’s 6-3 victory at Air Canada Centre.

All of the regulars were on the ice for the Bruins Saturday morning, with the exception of defenseman Steven Kampfer and forward Jordan Caron. Both players were sent to Providence Wednesday so they could get some game action, and both players played in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale. Caron had an assist, while Kampfer went without a point and had an even rating.

One are that remains a bit of a question mark for Saturday is the Leafs’ goaltending situation. Jonas Gustavsson is slated to be the starter, but No. 1 netminder James Reimer has been cleared to play.

[UPDATE: 12:32 pm] Both Reimer and coach Ron Wilson told reporters that it will indeed be Reimer in net. The Leafs have not lost a game in regulation this season with Reimer in net (4-0-1).

Read More: James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson, Jordan Caron, Steven Kampfer
Are Phil Kessel and the Leafs for real, and who’s in net? 11.04.11 at 7:38 pm ET
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One of the biggest questions early in the NHL season is whether Phil Kessel, who’s always been a fast starter, will sustain his crazy numbers over the course of the entire season. Right now, both Kessel and the Maple Leafs have shown no signs of slowing down.

Kessel has scored 30 goals in each of the last three seasons, but with 10 goals through 13 games, he’s on pace for an absurd total of 63. Kessel will eventually come back to earth, but it would appear a safe bet that he should go on to surpass his career-high of 36, which he scored in 2008-09, his final season in Boston.

“Phil’s matured. Just like any other player, he’s getting older,” Claude Julien said of Kessel on Thursday. “When I say he’s matured, [I mean] as a person. As a player, you can see it. He’s a lot stronger hanging on to the puck than he ever was. He shoots the puck and he’s finding ways to get shots off. Every game he has a lot of opportunities, so he’s becoming a better player with age.”

While the world is seeing a better Kessel this season, they’re also seeing a better Toronto team. Though the Bruins handed them a 6-2 beating last month in Boston, it was one of only three regulation losses for the 9-3-1 Leafs this season. Their 19 points are tied with the Penguins (who have played one more game), for best in the East.

One thing worth noting for Saturday is that starting goaltender James Reimer will once again miss a Leafs’ meeting with the Bruins. Coach Ron Wilson said Friday that the former first-round pick “hit a plateau in his recovery” from his upper-body injury. Jonas Gustavsson allowed six goals on Oct. 20 against the Bruins, and in his most recent start allowed three goals in a 3-2 loss against the Senators on Sunday.

Ben Scrivens made his NHL debut Thursday, allowing one goal in a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets.

Read More: Ben Scrivens, James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson, Phil Kessel
Maple Leafs crush Bruins in Toronto 03.19.11 at 9:46 pm ET
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Both Bruins goaltenders saw how bad things were in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre Saturday night.

Tim Thomas, who allowed four goals on the night, was pulled in the second period, but returned to start the third. The Leafs got goals from Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Joey Crabb, Mike Brown, and Keith Aulie. Thomas was yanked after Brown’s second-period goal, though Tuukka Rask played only 11:42 before Thomas was reinserted between the pipes.

Adam McQuaid had the first Bruins goal, firing a puck off Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf’s skate to beat an otherwise outstanding James Reimer. Daniel Paille scored with 19.8 seconds remaining in the game. The B’s went 0-for-2 on the power play, and have scored just two goals on the man advantage since acquiring Tomas Kaberle.

The Bruins have now lost six of their last seven games, going 1-3-3. They will return to TD Garden to face the Devils on Tuesday.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Can’t help but wonder what the reasoning was behind putting Thomas back in net to start the third period after yanking him in the second. Rask did not appear to be a happy camper after Dennis Seidenberg screened him on Aulie’s goal, though Claude Julien said after the game that the decision had nothing to do with it. Julien’s plan could be to use Rask against the Devils on Tuesday, so perhaps he was just trying to preserve him after playing him last two games.

- Overall it was a tremendously uninspired effort for the Bruins. Too many odd man rushes did them in, and it wasn’t as though they were getting beaten by a bunch of elite scorers. None of the five players to score for the Leafs had more than three goals entering the game.

- When the Bruins stumbled in the three games (0-1-2) following their seven-game win-streak, it seemed the road would be a good place to get back on track. Instead of finding their way, the B’s continued their skid on a four-game road trip that produced just one win. Eight of their final 11 games will be played at home, so they’ll try to straighten things out a the Garden after a very unsuccessful road trip.

- The seven-game point streak for David Krejci has come to an end. He had 3-6-9 totals over his last seven contests.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Schenn didn’t make McQuaid look very good on the game’s first goal, so it was good to see the rookie blueliner make up for it with his second goal of the season. On any other night, getting beaten for a goal and scoring a goal doesn’t make for a standout performance, but there was little to like from the Bruins’ standpoint Saturday.

- People get ahead of themselves when it comes to Tyler Seguin and whether he deserves more playing time, but he was a rare bright spot for the Bruins on an otherwise very ugly night. Reimer robbed the rookie a number of times, but Seguin didn’t need to score to stand out amongst an unproductive Boston bunch.

- This speaks to how bad things were, but Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Krejci and the Merlot Line can pat themselves on the back knowing that they were the only two Bruins skaters to not finish the night with a negative rating.

Read More: James Reimer, Tim Thomas,
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