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Preview; Kaberle returns to Toronto in Northeast Division play

March 19, 2011

Tomas Kaberle will return to Toronto for the first time as a visitor as the Bruins try to break out of a recent funk with a win over the Maple Leafs. The Bruins are just 1-2-3 in their last six games but have continued to hang on to the Northeast lead. The Leafs, on the outside of the playoff picture, are 2-4-1 in their last seven games, quickly playing themselves out of the playoffs.

The Leafs were most recently run over by the Panthers and tonight’s game is their third in four nights in a dense part of their schedule. The Leafs are four points out of the playoffs but have played at least one game more than everyone they need to overtake to get in the playoffs. In other words it’s not looking good. The Bruins are three points up on the Canadiens for the three seed but have two games in hand. Still, they need to get back on the winning track if they want home-ice.

Old friend Phil Kessel has been on fire lately. He has nine goals and seven assists in his last 16 games and was the main reason, along with James Reimer, that we’re still talking about playoff possibilities for the Leafs. Kessel finally broke out against the Bruins, scoring twice in their last meeting, a game that seemed to push the Leafs into a hot streak.

Andrew Ference is going to be a game-time decision for the Bruins. If so, Steve Kampfer will likely be the odd man out, which is fine because of his recent concussion. Also, it looks like Tim Thomas will go against Reimer tonight. This will be Thomas’ first game in eight games.

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