FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1 No more Mr. Nice Guys
Chances the Leafs post a third straight penalty-free game at home against this particular foe aren’t great. If Toronto does get the gate a few times, beware Boston’s third-ranked power play, which is near 30%. Toronto’s group remains potent, but isn’t getting much work and must overcome an 0-for-10 drought.
2 Control young cubs
While they won’t see old antagonists such as Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, some new Bruins are getting added ice time because of injuries. “The team’s growing in front of our eyes,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “Young guys that need to learn how to win.”
3 The two Johnnys
John Tavares had Toronto’s only strike in a 5-1 loss at TD Garden on Nov. 10, launching him on to seven goals in the next nine games, including one against the Flyers. Leafs scoring in that game was dominated by Andreas Johnsson’s first career hat trick.
4 Close encounters
Boston has been in five straight one-goal affairs, earning points in all (3-0-2). But this time, they’re the visitors and the Leafs aren’t coming off a back-to-back. Toronto could have been ahead in that first meeting last month, unable to score on 20 first-period shots. The Leafs are 10-0-0 when they score first this season.
5 Shots not favourable
The Leafs are averaging 32.7 shots against per game, which is one of the highest in the league for a team that’s currently in a playoff position.