Bruins look to hand Maple Leafs another loss

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Boston (33-8-5) at Toronto (17-22-7), 7:30 p.m. EST

TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins attempt to defeat the

Toronto Maple Leafs for the fourth straight time when the

Northeast Division rivals meet Wednesday.

Toronto handed Boston a 4-2 home defeat in the first meeting

between the clubs in October.

However, the Bruins have taken the last three encounters,

including an 8-5 victory in the most recent showdown last month.

Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala had a rough time in that

setback, allowing two goals on five shots in the first 4:34

before being replaced by Curtis Joseph. Toskala re-entered that

game in the third period after the Bruins went ahead 7-5.

The Leafs continue to rely heavily on the Finn, who has started

the last eight games despite allowing 27 goals during that

span.

Boston netminder Tim Thomas wasn't much better in the teams'

last meeting as the Bruins' 5-1 lead early in the second period

was eventually trimmed to 6-5, prompting coach Claude Julien to

play Manny Fernandez over the final 20 minutes.

It was a rare lapse for Thomas, an Eastern Conference All-Star

who leads the league with a .934 save percentage.

Boston is tops in the conference with 71 points, but the club is

winless in its last two games.

The Bruins appeared to have their fifth victory in six games

sewn up Monday against St. Louis, but David Backes scored a

game-tying goal with under one second remaining in regulation

and the Blues went on to win 5-4 in the shootout.

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