NHL

Bruins-Maple Leafs Preview

James Reimer quieted one of the league's top offensive teams on Saturday but was still a secondary story behind Boston's Tuukka Rask. The Toronto goaltender may get a shot at redemption two days later.

Rask and the Bruins escaped the first of five meetings between the two Original Six teams, and they visit the Maple Leafs on Monday night for the capper of a home-and-home set.

Boston (10-8-1) finally linked two wins together with Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs. The Bruins entered with losses in five of seven and earned back-to-back victories for the first time since winning their final four games of October.

Zdeno Chara broke a scoreless tie late in the third period by beating Reimer with a slap shot and Rask made 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and 28th of his career.

Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson each assisted on Brad Marchand's late empty-net goal. Bergeron extended his point streak to seven games, while Eriksson, who had a hat trick in a 4-2 win over Minnesota on Thursday, and Marchand each moved theirs to four.

The Bruins, who are 6-2-0 on the road, closed a season-high five-game homestand with a third win.

"We keep using the word consistency," coach Claude Julien told the team's official website. "I think it's a real good win — we've just got to keep trying to play the same way night after night."

It would help to have the Rask that showed up against the Maple Leafs. Rask, who made stops on Shawn Matthias breakaways in all three periods, has been wildly inconsistent with five games allowing five or more goals and five more surrendering one or zero.

Rask, though, is 12-3-1 against the Maple Leafs with a 1.74 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

He was great during his first eight appearances in Toronto with a 1.23 GAA and .958 save percentage, but he allowed four goals on just 16 shots his last time at Air Canada Centre in a 6-1 loss on Nov. 12, 2014.

While Rask has been up and down, Reimer has been steady for Toronto (7-10-4). The sixth-year goaltender has all seven wins for the Maple Leafs, including five in a row entering Friday thanks to a 1.36 GAA and .960 save percentage.

He was good again against the Bruins, facing 36 shots and allowing just Chara's goal - which he had little chance on. Reimer shut down a Boston attack averaging 3.26 goals for his third consecutive game allowing one while facing at least 34 shots.

Reimer, who has started 10 of the last 11 games for Toronto, is 1-5-2 in his last eight starts against the Bruins - though he has a 1.47 GAA and .958 save percentage in the last six. He is 3-2-0 with a .949 save percentage in six appearances against them in Toronto.

"It's just a good rivalry," said Reimer, who has played 24 straight periods without allowing multiple goals. "Whenever you face off against them it's a fun game because you know it's going to be a high-intensity one. Those are always the ones you want to be a part of."

Toronto dropped six of its first seven home games this season but has won the last two.

While the Bruins won the last two meetings in this series, the Maple Leafs have won three of five in Toronto.

Comments

More NHL