On a night when Boston is rested and celebrating their 2011 Cup team, a tired Maple Leafs team looks to avoid a seventh consecutive loss to the Bruins and keep themselves firmly in the race for home-ice advantage (7:00 p.m. EST, TSN4).

New acquisition Joel Edmundson is in the air and will join the team tonight in Boston but is not expected to play unless there is a last-minute lineup withdrawal due to the flu bug going around the room. Jake McCabe has recovered enough from the illness to dress tonight after missing the game against Buffalo last night.

In tonight’s pairings, Sheldon Keefe and the coaching staff are revealing the possible plan for when Edmundson is ready to play this weekend; he’s reunited Jake McCabe with TJ Brodie (a matchup pair from last spring’s playoffs and a possibility we mentioned in today’s piece about the trade) while placing Simon Benoit next to Timothy Liljegren. Edmundson would seemingly slot into Benoit’s place next to Liljegren when he enters the lineup.

With the two teams currently on a collision course for a first-round meeting in the playoffs, this is the final regular-season opportunity for the Leafs to expel the demons that have haunted them since November of 2022, the last time Toronto beat Boston. Special teams, which swung the game against the Leafs after a good start to the first period vs. the Bruins on Monday, are going to need to be much sharper if they’re going to gut this one out tonight.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery has mentioned that it should be an emotional start to the game for his team following a ceremony honouring the 2011 Cup-winning Bruins team. This is going to require everything the Leafs have in a tired situation on the road.

Game Day Quotes

Calle Jarnkrok on Brad Treliving making a second defense acquisition before the deadline:

He is trying to make the team better. That is all we can ask for as players. Give us the best chance possible to go as far as possible.

Sheldon Keefe on the adjustments needed from Monday’s loss to Boston:

As you go through it, it is less about the tactical things. When we have been at our best, there has been a different level of competitiveness and urgency on the puck. That makes us a better team.

That is required even more when you play a team like Boston. It is a real hallmark of their group. We have to be able to match and exceed that. It is an additional challenge for us to do it against this team and more of a challenge to do it on a back-to-back.

We went into Vegas a couple of weeks ago and it was a back-to-back. You were thinking it would be a real challenge. You are not quite sure what you are going to have as a team. We laid it out there as one of our better efforts. It is going to be a similar type of deal for our team tonight to dig in and find another level.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on what he wants his team to carry over from Monday’s win in Toronto:

Right from the start, I would like to see us be as committed as we were to being on the right side of the puck and trying to hold onto the puck in the offensive zone.

Montgomery on whether sweeping the Leafs in the season series would provide a psychological edge ahead of a potential Toronto-Boston playoff matchup:

I don’t think it does. Playoffs are a different animal.

Brad Marchand on the atmosphere in Boston for Leafs vs. Bruins games:

Toronto has been probably our biggest rivalry over the last decade. They have been a great team and we have had some really good playoff series. Between them and Tampa, we have competed against them the most and had some of the most exciting games.

The fans embrace it and enjoy it. The building will be rocking. It will be exciting. It’s motivation to come out hard tonight.

Marchand on his team’s six wins in a row over Toronto:

Just because we have won in the past, it doesn’t mean it is going to have an impact on the game moving forward, but it is a team we get up for. They are a very gifted and talented team. We feel the rivalry every time we go into their building or they come in here.

Guys get up for this game, and you can tell they do, too. They are always very intense, emotional games that come down to the wire or OT. Those are the games you want to be a part of — emotional, exciting, and intense.

Marchand on the difficulty of shutting down Auston Matthews:

He is going to get opportunities every night. There is no question about that. We are trying to limit those. You are not going to limit them all because he is so gifted at finding open space and the connection he has with his linemates. They make things happen.

You are not going to be able to stop them from getting opportunities. Hopefully, you can get a stick on it, block a couple, or the goalie makes a big save when the time comes. It is a matter of time with him. He scores every game, or if he doesn’t score one game, he is getting two the next.

He is a very gifted player and one you definitely have to keep an eye on. It is about trying to limit how many opportunities he gets. You are not going to shut him down. Just have to play tight on him.

Head-to-Head Stats: Maple Leafs vs. Bruins

In the season-to-date statistics, the Leafs hold the advantage over the Bruins in four out of five offensive categories, but the Bruins hold the advantage in three out of five defensive categories.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

#23 Matthew Knies – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#59 Tyler Bertuzzi  – #11 Max Domi – #88 William Nylander
#74 Bobby McMann – #91 John Tavares – #19 Calle Jarnkrok
#18 Noah Gregor – #64 David Kampf – #75 Ryan Reaves

#44 Morgan Rielly – #46 Ilya Lyubushkin
#78 TJ Brodie – #22 Jake McCabe
#2 Simon Benoit – #37 Timothy Liljegren

Starter: #60 Joseph Woll
#35 Ilya Samsonov

Extras: Pontus Holmberg, Martin Jones
Injured: Conor Timmins, Mark Giordano

Boston Bruins Projected Lines

#43 Danton Heinen – #18 Pavel Zacha – #88 David Pastrnak
#63 Brad Marchand – #13 Charlie Coyle – #74 Jake DeBrusk
#21 James van Riemsdyk – #39 Morgan Geeke – #11 Trent Frederic
#94 Jakub Lauko – #70 Jesper Boqvist – #55 Justin Brazeau

#48 Matt Grzelcyk – #73 Charlie McAvoy
#6 Mason Lohrei – #25 Brandon Carlo
#29 Parker Wotherspoon – #22 Kevin Shattenkirk

Starter: #1 Jeremy Swayman
#35 Linus Ullmark

Injured: Milan Lucic, Hampus Lindholm, Matthew Poitras, Derek Forbort