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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 8th (All times Eastern)

Boston Bruins (19-8-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (16-11-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins were involved in a contentious battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and managed to pick up a win thanks to some late heroics.

The Bruins will jump right back into the fray on Sunday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre for the first time since beating them in the opening round of last season's playoffs.

David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored goals 1:16 apart late in regulation on Saturday to send the Bruins to a 3-2 decision over the visiting Penguins, but unfortunately the game will be remembered for a pair of ugly incidents in the first period.

During a scrum which was created by a kneeing call to Pittsburgh's James Neal against a defenseless Brad Marchand with 8:54 remaining in the first period, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton grabbed Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik from behind and punched him twice, the second time as the veteran blueliner was on the ice.

Medical personnel were immediately summoned, and the 33-year-old blueliner was completely immobilized before being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away for evaluation. Following the game, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma reported that Orpik was out of the hospital and will travel back home with his teammates.

"I made a mistake. I feel awful," Thornton offered in defense.

Thornton drew a match penalty for his actions -- apparently in retribution for a clean but hard hit Orpik laid on Bruins forward Loui Eriksson early in the game. Eriksson was later reported to have suffered a concussion and will not travel with his club for today's game in Toronto.

"Those are unfortunate incidents when you see guys get injured. That's called Eriksson and it's also called Orpik," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.

Thornton will have an in-person disciplinary hearing with the league, meaning he could face a suspension of greater than five games for his actions. Neal, meanwhile, will have a phone hearing to discuss a possible punishment for his kneeing incident.

The rough stuff overshadowed the late comeback by Boston, which won for the third time in four games thanks to Chara's game-winner with 13 seconds left in regulation. He wristed a shot from between the circles to give Boston a 3-2 lead just 76 seconds after Krejci tied the game.

Reilly Smith also lit the lamp and added the primary assist on Chara's goal for the Bruins, who bounced back from a one-goal loss in Montreal on Thursday and have won seven of their last 10 overall.

Tuukka Rask made 28 saves on Saturday as the hosts kept pace with the first- place Habs in the Atlantic Division. Montreal, which also won Saturday against Buffalo, is one point ahead of the Bruins for the top spot, but Boston could move past the idle Canadiens on Sunday.

Today's clash is the second of four scheduled meetings between the Bruins and Maple Leafs this season. In addition to winning a classic seven-game playoff battle against Toronto in the opening round of last spring's postseason, the Bruins have taken two straight and 10 of the past 11 regular-season matchups in this Original Six rivalry.

Boston recorded a 3-1 win over a visiting Toronto team on Nov. 9 in the first of four scheduled meetings this season between the Atlantic Division foes. Patrice Bergeron notched two goals for the B's and Rask stopped 33-of-34 shots for the victory.

Toronto had lost four straight regular-season games on home ice against the Bruins before ending that slide with a 3-2 regulation victory on March 23 of last season.

The Leafs enter Sunday having won two straight on the heels of a season-worst five-game losing streak. Toronto halted the 0-3-2 slide with an overtime victory Thursday against visiting Dallas and then notched a 4-3 shootout win in Ottawa on Saturday.

James van Riemsdyk scored 97 seconds into the game and again in a shootout to help Toronto down the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators rallied from a 3-1 deficit with third-period goals by Erik Condra and Erik Karlsson, but Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer stopped Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek in the shootout to help his team gain the extra point.

The Maple Leafs halted a seven-game road losing streak with the shootout decision. They had lost seven in a row on the road since a win at Calgary on Oct. 30.

Phil Kessel and Jake Gardiner scored in the victory and Reimer had 47 saves.

Toronto is 10-5-0 as the home club this season and is kicking off a two-game homestand on Sunday and will close the brief home stretch against Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Leafs are playing six of their next eight at Air Canada Centre.

The Leafs are currently sitting fifth in the Atlantic Division, five points in back of the Bruins and six behind first-place Montreal.

12/08 10:47:12 ET

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Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
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CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
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STL
HOU
 
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BOS
MIA
 
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TAM
MIN
 
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PHI
NYY
 
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ATL
WAS
 
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BAL
 
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NYM
DET
 
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SDP
CWS
 
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CHC
CIN
 
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CLE
KAN
 
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MIL
LOS
 
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SEA
 
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COL
 
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PIT
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
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POR 94
DAL 75
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IND
CHI
 
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WAS
MIA
 
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ORL
SAC
 
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CHA
TOR
 
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UTA
 
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ATL
CLE
 
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NOP
BOS
 
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HOU
DET
 
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MEM
LAL
 
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BRK
PHO
 
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SAN
DEN
 
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GSW
DAL
 
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MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
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SIENA 71
NIAG 54
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LEH 62
AMER 68
 
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SCAR 74
ARK 78
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LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
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MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
Final
ARST 67
STAN 62
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
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CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
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HIGH
GWEBB
 
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UNCG
SAMF
 
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ELON
TOWS
 
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KSU
AKR
 
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BUF
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DART
BRO
 
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WMICH
CMICH
 
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PENN
CLMB
 
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PRIN
CORN
 
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OU
ILLCH
 
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UMO
 
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NILL
 
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BRAD
 
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MURST
MORE
 
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CCAR
UNCA
 
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HARV
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DREX
COC
 
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CITA
FUR
 
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USF
PAC
 
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BAY
TTU
 
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EKENT
BEL
 
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CLST
DET
 
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INDST
LOYC
 
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SCU
LMU
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
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PHI 3
STL 1
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FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
Final
ARI 3
VAN 2
Final
LOS 4
MON 3
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NJD
CLB
 
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CAR
MIN
 
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OTT
BUF
 
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DET
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT