November 30th, 2011 7 p.m.
For the Pre-game report continue reading…
First Place at Stake tonight
Tonight the Bruins open up a Home-and-Home with the Maple Leafs in Toronto. First place is on the line tonight as the Leafs enter tonights game in first with a record of 14-8-2 30pts. The Bruins are 1point behind with a record of 14-7-1 and 29pts. Both teams are playing well coming into this one, with Toronto winning 3 in a row and Boston 10-0-1 in their last 11 games.
This is the third meeting of the season between these two clubs. So far the B’s have owned the Leafs winning both games by a combined score of 13-2, shutting out Toronto in their last meeting 7-0 at the Air Canada Centre. That game was memorable for Tyler Seguin’s first career Hat Trick.
Lucic Krejci Horton
Marchand Bergeron Seguin
Pouliot Kelly Peverley
Paille Campbell Thornton
The Five Hole
1. Thank You Kessel – It never gets old and it doesn’t look like the fans will let it die. Here’s the problem: Kessel’s leading the league in goals and points. Most surprisingly, he’s leading the NHL in All-Star Fan Voting! Pretty amazing after the pick-up game debacle last year.
2. Tyler Seguin – Last time out he netted his first career Hat Trick in front of his friends and family. He’s been quiet the last few games, so this would be a good time for him to find that scoring touch again.
3. 13-2 – That’s the total score over the first two games in favor of the Bruins. They’re scoring in bunches these days and with Toronto’s goaltending shaky at best, the Bruins should be able to put up some goals tonight. If not, it could be a close game.
4. 1st Line Magic – Toronto’s top line has been very good this year, evidenced by Kessels strong offensive numbers. Part of the reason for that is his new linemates. Joffrey Lupul has 29 points on the season, just 2 points behind Kessel’s 31. The Bruins have done a great job of shutting down the Leafs, and Kessel in particular.
5. Balance – On the flip side of that argument, the Bruins boast one of the most balanced line ups in the league. To illustrate that point the Bruins top 10 scorers consist of the entire first line, the entire second line, two-thirds of the third line and two defensemen!
Based on past performances, there’s no reason Zdeno Chara and the Bruins can’t shut Kessel down again. At some point he’ll break out, but it’s not tonight.
Bruins win 5-2, with an ENG to seal it.
Statistics courtesy of NHL.com, Boston.com, editorinleaf.com