Toronto Maple Leafs (29-43-6) at Boston Bruins (40-25-13), 7 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) – A recent six-game losing streak by the Boston Bruins had put their playoff chances in doubt, but the club has been able to rebound with a sizeable winning streak.
The Bruins look to extend a four-game run on Saturday night when they host the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs.
Boston’s six-game slide from March 13-26 had the Bruins tied for the second wild card spot with the Ottawa Senators, but the club has rebounded to actually pull into a tie with the Detroit Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Both teams have 93 points, but the Red Wings have five games left to the Bruins’ four and host the Minnesota Wild tonight. The Senators, meanwhile, are three points behind the Bruins for that second wild card spot, also with a game in hand.
Boston pulled even with Detroit’s point total by rallying to top the Red Wings 3-2 on Thursday. The Bruins trailed 2-0 when the Red Wings scored 2:52 into the final frame, but Boston got goals from Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Zach Trotman to pull in front.
Trotman’s first NHL goal was the winner, coming with 2:08 to play.
“I was just ecstatic. I couldn’t believe it at first,” Trotman said of his deciding marker. “You dream about that moment for a long time.”
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to extend Boston’s win streak.
The Bruins hope to avoid a letdown tonight against a Maple Leafs team that is seventh in the Atlantic Division. Toronto lost its sixth in a row on the road with Wednesday’s 4-3 setback to the last-place Buffalo Sabres.
The Leafs picked up a second straight win when they beat the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, but lost for the eighth time in 10 games overall and fell to 8-26-5 on the road with the decision against the Sabres.
“You like to think you’re going to continue from where you left off,” said Maple Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek. “We were just too sloppy.”
Eric Brewer, James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri each scored, while Jonathan Bernier allowed all four goals on 31 shots for the Maple Leafs. Forwards Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel had two assists each.
The Leafs have won two straight and four of their past five against the Bruins, including two in a row in Boston.