Leafs, Bruins hoping to shake late-season woes

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm •  Published: April 30, 2013
Advertisement
;

One focal point will be former Bruins player Phil Kessel and Boston's Tyler Seguin, two top young forwards. Boston traded Kessel to Toronto in September 2009 for three draft choices, two of whom turned out to be first-rounders: Seguin and rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Both have played key roles this season.

In 16 games against Toronto, Seguin has 10 goals and six assists. Kessel has fared much worse against Boston with three goals and six assists in 22 games — and he's had to endure the jeers of Bruins fans.

"They are obviously going to be loud, probably going to be giving it to Phil a little bit," Bozak said. "We're used to that when we go there, but it might be a little bit more upscale this time around."

Kessel probably will have more problems with a Bruins defense that allowed just 109 goals, second fewest in the East.

But the Maple Leafs became a bit tougher themselves against opposing puck handlers as the season progressed.

"I think they've improved a lot really on their forecheck, on the way that they pressure," Bergeron said. "They really come hard, and they're in your face, and they're a pretty physical team. So we're expecting that."

Boston missed a chance to be seeded second in the conference when it lost 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators in the regular-season finale Sunday. That allowed Montreal to take that spot while the Bruins slipped to fourth. The Maple Leafs earned the fifth seed.

"It doesn't matter if we finished first or eighth," Boston goalie Tuukka Rask said. "You make the playoffs, you've still got to start with a clean sheet. And I think nobody's even talked about the regular season anymore. We're focused on the playoffs."

___

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.