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Game Preview: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs

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Michael Hutchinson will get thrown into one of hockey’s biggest rivalries on Saturday night.

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Game # 44

7:00PM

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, SN One, City

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

The Leafs take on the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final time this season, which provides them with a few months to cool off before their inevitable first-round playoff matchup. Frederik Andersen is expected to miss tonight’s action due to the flu, so Michael Hutchinson will be thrown into one of hockey’s biggest rivalries. Let’s hope he’s ready for a shutout or a goalie fight.

Zach Hyman earned a suspension following their last meeting, and Chris Wagner retaliated with a dumb hit on Morgan Rielly. The Bruins won this game 6-3, and are currently up two games to one in the season series.

Expected Lines

Forward Lines

Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Connor Brown

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov

Goaltenders

Michael Hutchinson
Kasimir Kaskisuo

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron- David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk- David Krejci- David Backes
Sean Kuraly- Noel Acciari- Chris Wagner
Danton Heinen- Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson- Ryan Donato

Defence Pairings

Zdeno Chara- Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug- John Moore
Matt Grzelcyk- Kevan Miller

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask
Jaroslav Halak

Keys To The Game

The Leafs carry a clear edge in terms of forward depth, but as we all know, Boston’s first line can score in bunches. Toronto doesn’t have a dominant defence-pairing to matchup against them, and David Pastrnak often takes full-advantage. Shutting down Boston’s top line is the biggest key to tonight’s game, and you don’t want to give this group too many powerplay opportunities.

Tonight would be a great time for the Leafs to get their powerplay rolling again. It looks like Auston Matthews will continue to play on William Nylander’s unit, but Mike Babcock has suggested that they could switch back at any moment. Having two strong powerplay units sure worked last season, and I’m interested to see if this can help get Nylander going.

Let’s hope Hutchinson plays well, and the Leafs can come away with another victory on home ice. If the Leafs get blown out, look out for dozens of “the sky is falling” articles. I just want to beat Boston.