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The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are both hovering around the .500 mark, but they also both have reason for confidence entering their second meeting in less than a week.
The Original Six clubs and Northeast Division rivals face off at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
Boston (9-7-2) won the first matchup between these teams in their eight-game season series, beating the Leafs 5-2 on Thursday night at TD Banknorth Garden. The five goals were the second-most this season for the Bruins, who ended a string of five straight games with two goals or fewer.
Peter Schaefer had two goals and an assist to lead Boston. Although they've struggled offensively for most of the season, the Bruins were confident they could score on the Leafs thanks to extensive film study.
"We saw video (of Toronto)," said Boston right wing Brandon Bochenski, who had two assists for his first points of 2007-08. "We saw the areas we had to be in to get chances to score."
The Bruins scored four more times Saturday at Montreal, but allowed 52 shots on net in a 7-4 defeat. Tim Thomas made 45 saves - matching his season high - but couldn't prevent Boston from suffering its fourth straight road loss and fifth defeat in seven games overall.
"He's played great for us the whole season, no question about it," said Bruins right wing Glen Murray, who had two goals and an assist. "You can't fault him on what happened. He's kept us in every game all year and we didn't bail him out tonight."
Thursday's loss was the third in a row for the Maple Leafs (8-8-5). However, Toronto returned home and bounced back in a big way Saturday with a 3-0 victory over NHL-leading Ottawa.
Vesa Toskala made 24 saves for his first shutout as a Leaf and his first since March 16, when he played for San Jose.
"We just beat what is probably the best team in the league," Toskala said. "Hopefully we get a confidence boost from this win because we've been going up and down."
Toskala did not play in Thursday's meeting at Boston, where former Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft stopped 22 of 27 shots to take the loss. Toskala has one win, one tie and seven goals allowed in two career starts versus the Bruins, whom he has not faced since Nov. 6, 2003.
Darcy Tucker, Jiri Tlustly and Mats Sundin scored for Toronto in Saturday's win. Sundin now has 533 career goals, and needs one more to pass Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich for 27th on the all-time list.
Sundin, 36, has shown no signs of slowing down this season as his 10 goals and 17 assists lead the Leafs. He has two goals and four assists during a five-game points streak, including an assist in last week's loss at Boston.
Sundin has 22 goals and 29 assists in 76 career games against the Bruins.