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TORONTO — The Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs have reason to believe they can still be better — and soon.Both teams are pretty good as it is [url=http://www.islandersfanproshop.com/authentic-brock-nelson-jersey]Authentic Brock Nelson Jersey[/url] , and they meet Monday night at the Scotiabank Arena following impressive victories on Saturday.The Maple Leafs (16-8-0), led by three goals from Andreas Johnsson and shutout goaltending by backup Garret Sparks, defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0 at home, while the Bruins (13-6-4) defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in Montreal.Article continues below ...The improvement for these teams is expected to come with the return of key players from injury.The Maple Leafs are anticipating the return of center Auston Matthews from a shoulder injury within a week. Not only that, but holdout right winger William Nylander, a restricted free agent, also could be re-signed this week.“It’s my assumption we’re getting both back,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “Obviously, we’ll be a better hockey club when we have them both. They give you a whole other line and give you much more depth. Ideally, that’s what you had in mind when you started the year. I expected to have them a lot sooner than we have, but we’ll be excited to have them both.”The Bruins can expect the return of a couple of mainstays in the coming weeks — center Patrice Bergeron (rib/sternoclavicular) and defenseman Zdeno Chara (knee).Meanwhile, the Bruins are receiving some good play from their younger players.“The team’s growing in front of our eyes,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game Saturday. “Young guys that need to learn how to win. Listen, I don’t want to call it playoff hockey in November, but we are in close games every night. To me, that’s playoff hockey and you have to be comfortable in these games.”The Bruins won when defenseman John Moore scored his first goal of the season on a power play at 17:03 of the third period. The Bruins also had defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in overtime Friday night at the TD Garden.Jake DeBrusk scored his seventh goal in his past nine games Saturday, giving him 10 for the season. He was playing on a line with Danton Heinen and David Krejci for the second game in a row.“By far our best line,” Cassidy had said following the win over the Penguins.“Kind of nice that I struggled earlier,” DeBrusk said. “Because now it makes me hungrier to get more goals.”David Backes also scored his first goal of the season for Boston in Montreal.“I’ve quit thinking,” Backes said. “Thinking is, uh [url=http://www.islandersfanproshop.com/authentic-casey-cizikas-jersey]Casey Cizikas Jersey[/url] , paralysis when you’re in slumps. It was a quick play and that was good for me. Get it, look for a hole and shoot it as hard as I could. It was a beautiful sight in my mind to see the puck go off my stick and into the net.”The Maple Leafs had been falling into a rut before they scored early and often against the Flyers, taking a 4-0 lead 12:20 into the game with three of the goals scored by Johnsson.“After (the third goal) it kind of felt unreal,” Johnsson said. “It’s hard to explain. I had the first goal, then the second goal and, all of a sudden, the third one, I’m like, ‘what’s going on?'”In their three previous games, the Maple Leafs had fallen behind 2-0 and lost two of them on the road to the Caroline Hurricanes Wednesday and the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. Until those games, the Maple Leafs were 9-1-0 on the road.They did come back Monday to beat the Blue Jackets 4-2 at home after falling behind 2-0.Saturday marked the second Maple Leafs home game in a row without a penalty being called on either team.The teams met on Nov. 10 at Boston with the Bruins winning 5-1 led by David Pastrnak’s three goals. BOSTON (AP) — Chris Wagner and David Backes scored, Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.Boston won three of four games in the season series against Buffalo.Rask was looking for his first shutout of the season, but former Bruins’ defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen beat him with a wrist shot on the glove side with 2:38 left in regulation.Sabres star Jack Eichel missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to be re-evaluated early next week.Linus Ullmark made 39 saves for Buffalo, which has won just once in its last five games.The Sabres pulled Ullmark with just over a minute left for an extra skater, but were unable to get a shot on goal.KINGS 4, OILERS 0LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick earned his 300th victory, Anze Kopitar scored his 300th goal and Los Angeles climbed out of last place in the overall NHL standings.Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter scored during a dominant first period, while Kopitar added his milestone goal in the third period of the Kings‘ sixth win in nine games since mid-December.Quick made 16 saves in his 51st career shutout, fifth-most among active goalies. The veteran netminder made a handful of big stops and combined with his defense to end the five-game scoring streaks of Edmonton stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.Mikko Koskinen yielded three goals on eight Kings shots before Cam Talbot replaced him in the first period for the Oilers, who have lost seven of eight.All-Star Drew Doughty had two early assists for the Kings.ISLANDERS 4 [url=http://www.islandersfanproshop.com/authentic-cal-clutterbuck-jersey]http://www.islandersfanproshop.com/authentic-cal-clutterbuck-jersey[/url] , BLUES 3ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Eberle and Johnny Boychuk scored 11 seconds apart in the third period to lead New York.Anders Lee and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who won their season-high sixth in a row and ninth in 10 games. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots for his seventh consecutive win.Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford and Ryan O’Reilly scored for St. Louis, which has lost three of its last four.BLUE JACKETS 4, PANTHERS 3, OTSUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Seth Jones scored 18 seconds into overtime and Columbus won for the seventh time in nine games.Brandon Dubinsky, Josh Anderson and Anthony Duclair also scored for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves.Aaron Ekblad, Mike Hoffman and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Panthers. Keith Yandle had two assists. James Reimer stopped 31 shots. The Panthers are winless in their last seven games against Columbus (0-5-2).MAPLE LEAFS 5, CANUCKS 0TORONTO (AP) — Michael Hutchinson stopped 28 shots for his first shutout in more than two years and Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists to lead Toronto.John Tavares, Andreas Johnsson, Trevor Moore and Igor Ozhiganov also scored as the Maple Leafs snapped a two-game skid that followed a five-game winning streak. Hutchinson got his fourth career shutout and the first since Oct. 28, 2016, when he was with Winnipeg.Jacob Markstrom stopped 29 shots for Vancouver, which was shut out for the third time in four games.The Canucks, playing for the third time in four nights, were without star rookie Elias Pettersson after the rookie injured his right knee in Thursday night’s 2-0 loss at Montreal. Pettersson leads all NHL rookies with 42 points (22 goals, 20 assists).PREDATORS 4, CANADIENS 1MONTREAL (AP) — Craig Smith scored two goals in the win for Nashville.Mattias Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators. P.K. Subban had two assists. Juuse Saros stopped 27 shots in place of Pekka Rinne.Shea Weber scored against his former team for the Canadiens. Carey Price made 28 saves as Montreal lost for the first time in three games.It was the second matchup between Weber and Subban since the Predators and Canadiens traded the players in the summer of 2016. The defensemen also faced off on Mar. 2, 2017, when Montreal won 2-1 at Bell Centre.WILD 4 [url=http://www.officialsabres.com/authentic-adidas-matt-hunwick-jersey]Matt Hunwick Jersey Womens[/url] , SENATORS 3OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jared Spurgeon scored twice as Minnesota dealt Ottawa its seventh consecutive setback.Jordan Greenway and Zach Parise also scored for the Wild (20-17-3), who improved to 2-0 on a four-game trip. Devan Dubnyk stopped 24 shots.Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Mark Stone scored for Ottawa, and Anders Nilsson made 22 saves in his Senators debut after he was acquired Wednesday in a trade with Vancouver.FLAMES 3, FLYERS 2, OTPHILADELPHIA (AP) — TJ Brodie scored 1 minute, 59 seconds into overtime after Matthew Tkachuk tied it with 4:17 left in regulation to lead Calgary.Tkachuk assisted on the winner in the 3-on-3 extra session. Philadelphia’s Jordan Weal turned the puck over in the Flyers offensive zone to set up a 2-on-1 break. Tkachuk sent a cross-ice pass to Brodie, who beat Carter Hart to lead the Pacific Division leaders to the win.Johnny Gaudreau notched his 24th goal of the season for the Flames, whose 56 points are tops in the Western Conference.Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny scored for Philadelphia, which dropped its season-worst sixth straight game. The Flyers are in last place in the Metropolitan Division.SHARKS 5, LIGHTNING 2SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Evander Kane scored two goals to reach 200 for his career as San Jose beat Tampa Bay and snapped the NHL-leading Lightning’s 16-game point streak.Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored 34 seconds apart midway through the first period, setting the tone for San Jose, which never trailed as it won for the fourth time in five games. Lukas Radil also scored, Brent Burns had two assists and Erik Karlsson added two to extend his assists streak to 12 games. Martin Jones stopped 19 shots.Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev scored for the Lightning, who had won seven straight and were 15-0-1 since a 3-1 loss to Anaheim on Nov. 27. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 28 saves.
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