Bruins visit Leafs aiming for 6th straight win

( – The Boston Bruins aim to extend their winning streak to
six straight games as they begin a stretch of back-to-back contests against
division rivals in Wednesday’s encounter with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bruins kept their longest win streak of the season intact with Monday’s
4-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils, a contest highlighted by a spectacular
game-winning goal by Seth Griffith.

Griffith put the Bruins up 3-2 with 1:59 to play in the second period as he
blocked a shot and raced up the ice into the New Jersey zone. The forward lost
the puck as he tried to battle through a pair of Devils defenders and managed
to backhand a shot through his own legs and in with his back to the net.

“It was big because we were definitely under pressure for maybe four, five
minutes in a row,” said Reilly Smith, who scored 1:20 after Griffith and also
had an assist. “Griffith kind of changed that whole thing at the end of the
period, which is nice because we weren’t playing great hockey right there and
that kind of changed the momentum at least.”

Patrice Bergeron finished with a goal and two assists, while Carl Soderberg
also scored. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.

The win finished off a perfect four-game homestand and has the Bruins in
position to win six in a row for the first time since a 12-game run from March
2-22 of last season.

Boston also saw the return of defenseman Torey Krug, who had been out since
suffering a broken finger against Minnesota on Oct. 28. However, forward David
Krejci did not play for the third time in four games because of a lower-body
injury and was not expected to travel with the Bruins for tonight’s game or
Wednesday’s contest in Montreal.

With Boston set to play on back-to-back nights against Atlantic Division
rivals, it is unknown if Rask will start tonight or if rookie backup Niklas
Svedberg will get the call.

Rask is 10-2-0 with a 1.59 goals against average and .945 save percentage in
14 career games versus the Leafs, including 12 starts, while Svedberg has
never faced them. He is 2-2-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .940 save percentage overall
this season.

The Leafs are coming off Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators in a game
that was originally scheduled for Oct. 22 but postponed after Cpl. Nathan
Cirillo was tragically shot and killed while standing guard at the National
War Memorial on Parliament Hill.

The win gave Toronto a second straight victory and points in six of its last
seven (5-1-1).

Mike Santorelli netted a go-ahead short-handed tally in the second period as
part of three unanswered goals for the Maple Leafs, while Peter Holland
finished with a goal and an assist. James van Riemsdyk, Josh Leivo and David
Clarkson added goals to support 37 saves by James Reimer.

“We kind of started off a bit slow,” said Santorelli. “We kept climbing our
way back and stuck with it.”

Toronto was coming off a home win over the New York Rangers the previous night
and is likely to go back to Jonathan Bernier in net tonight even though he is
only 1-3-0 with a 4.46 GAA and .876 save percentage in five games against the

Bernier made 21 saves before getting pulled in the third period of a 4-1 loss
at home to the Bruins on Oct. 25.

Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists, while Krejci, Soderberg and
Gregory Campbell scored. Rask made 32 saves in the Bruins’ 12th victory in
their last 15 versus the Maple Leafs and seventh in the last 10 trips to