Maple Leafs-Bruins Preview
Coach Claude Julien may shuffle lines as he tries to spark the slumping Boston Bruins.
A return home may be enough.
The Bruins look to continue their success at TD Garden and make it five straight wins there against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night in the back end of a home-and-home set.
Boston (20-7-3) capped a 1-3-0 road trip by losing 3-2 to Toronto (17-12-3) on Saturday, ending the club's eight-game winning streak in the series.
Julien is more worried about the Bruins' sputtering offense, which managed six goals while going 0 for 9 on the power play over the last four games. They outshot the Maple Leafs 33-13, but failed to score until the third period.
That's reason enough for Julien to shake up his lines.
"Because I can. Because I'm the coach. And every once in a while, you've got to do those things. Simple as that," Julien told the team's official website. "Well, we've scored six goals in the last four games, so I think it's time for a shake-up."
Brad Marchand leads the Bruins with 13 goals, but he has one in 10 games and may find himself with new linemates in center David Krejci and right wing Nathan Horton - one combined point during the recent road trip.
"We're kind of struggling right now and we need to start winning games and get some points in the standings," Krejci said. "We're trying to do what's best for the team, and if this is for the best, I'm all for it."
Krejci has five goals and nine assists over the last 10 matchups with the Leafs, scoring once in a 4-2 win in the latest in Boston on March 7.
Marchand had two assists in that meeting, giving him seven points in the past six at home versus Toronto.
Tyler Seguin doesn't have a point in his past three games, but he has eight during the Bruins' four-game home winning streak against the Original Six rival.
A return home could be the spark Julien is looking for. Boston is 10-2-1 at TD Garden and plays 11 of its remaining 18 games there.
The Maple Leafs, losers of three straight on the road, are looking to win in Boston for the first time since a 4-3 shootout victory on March 31, 2011.
They'll probably need to generate more shots this time.
"We have three more periods in a very tough building where we haven't had success before and it's going to take a more intense effort than we had (Saturday) to go in there and have success," coach Randy Carlyle said.
"When you win a hockey game and you only get 13 shots and the opposition gets 33, I don't think you can really say that was your game plan," he said.
Nazem Kadri seeks to continue his dazzling stretch for the Leafs. Among the league leaders with 34 points, the center has three goals and six assists in four games after scoring in the opening period Saturday.
The seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, Kadri has three goals and as many assists in seven career meetings with Boston. That includes a goal at Boston earlier this month.
Lupul has three goals and one assist in two games after missing 25 with a broken forearm.