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Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Boston Bruins

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One more without Auston

NHL: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins: Game 20

Time: 7:00 P.M ET

Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA

Broadcast/Streaming: CBC

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

The Leafs face the back half of a home-and-home tonight, after a stirring win against the Bruins on Friday. Once again, they are without Auston Matthews, hopefully for the last time. He’ll have another four days to recover before the Leafs’ next game, so the earliest we will see him is the coming Thursday.

In the meantime, Toronto has to deal with a team they are rather evenly matched with. Yesterday’s game was about as even as it gets, with shot attempts tied and the game going to overtime. Mitch Marner and his linemates got back on track in a big way last night, and that is huge for the Leafs, as they need all their scoring depth, especially without their best player. Now, the attention will turn to William Nylander, who has been playing well over the last few weeks, without the points to show for it. He leads the team in relative shot share, and it was notable how the Komarov-Kadri-Nylander line performed better against the Bruins top players than Komarov-Kadri-Brown (granted, in the smallest of samples).

The Bruins are very much a one line team, but that one line is absolutely horrifying. With Matthews, the Leafs might be able to go power vs power, but without him, they just have to do their best to survive the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak unit. With McElhinney in net, that is even more true.

Meanwhile, the Bruins got a solid effort out of their backup last night, and will be playing Tuukka Rask today, giving them a decided edge in goal. It’s hard to see the Leafs as anything but clear underdogs in this game, given the goalie matchup, but of course, that’s why they play the games.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Patrick Marleau - Connor Brown

Leo Komarov- Nazem Kadri - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - Josh Leivo

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick

Goaltenders

Curtis McElhinney

Frederik Andersen

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Danton Heinen - Jordan Szwarz - Anders Bjork

Tim Schaller - Reilly Nash - Noel Acciari

Matt Beleskey - Sean Kuraly - Jake DeBrusk

Defence Pairings

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Paul Postma - Kevan Miller

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin