The Bruins will face a familiar foe under very unfamiliar circumstances Saturday night in Toronto.
It will be the 641st meeting between the Original Six rivals, and the hockey clubs from Boston and Toronto know each other well. But they haven't had a matchup quite like this in recent memory.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Bruins come in buried in the Eastern Conference basement with a 4-7-0 record, while the Maple Leafs, who have not even qualified for the playoffs since the final season before the owners' lockout in 2004, currently occupy the top spot in the East at 9-3-1.
The Bruins aren't expected to make any lineup changes after Tuesday's 5-3 win over Ottawa. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Rich Peverley both missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday in what coach Claude Julien termed "maintenance days," but both were on the ice for Saturday's morning skate and are expected to play.
Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate and is expected to get the start in net. Benoit Pouliot is healthy after missing time last week with a cold, but he is likely to remain a scratch up front with Jordan Caron staying in the lineup after a strong game against Ottawa. Steven Kampfer will be the scratch again on defense.
The Leafs are coming off back-to-back wins over the Devils and Blue Jackets on Wednesday and Thursday, but will be shaking up their lineup a bit. Luke Schenn will be the scratch on defense for the first time this season, with Cody Franson getting the chance to play his fourth game of the year.
Up front, Toronto will likely insert Jay Rosehill in place of Philippe Dupuis on the fourth line for some added muscle against the Bruins. Former Bruins heavyweight Colton Orr will remain a scratch, however. He has played just two games this season, including the first clash with the Bruins when he fought Shawn Thornton in Boston.
Rookie Ben Scrivens will get his second start in goal after making 38 saves in a 4-1 win over Columbus in his NHL debut on Thursday.
Gord Dwyer and Kevin Pollock will be the referees, with Greg Devorski and Jean Morin working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Benoit Pouliot, Steven Kampfer
Projected Maple Leafs lines
Joffrey Lupul-Tim Connolly-Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur-Mikhail Grabovski-Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi-Tyler Bozak-Joey Crabb
Jay Rosehill-David Steckel-Mike Brown
Carl Gunnarsson-Dion Phaneuf
John-Michael Liles-Mike Komisarek
Jake Gardiner-Cody Franson
Scratches: Luke Schenn, Philippe Dupuis, Colton Orr, Colby Armstrong (ankle), James Reimer (head)
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