Toronto (36-32-7) at Boston (28-35-13)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Thu Apr 6, 2006
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have won four of their last five games to close to within six points of the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.

The 10th-place Maple Leafs look to continue their upward climb when they close out their season series with the struggling Boston Bruins.

Toronto is 4-3 against the Bruins this season, and won the last meeting 5-4 in a shootout on March 14.

Darcy Tucker ended a 16-game scoring drought with two goals on Wednesday, and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the game-winner with just over two minutes to play in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.

The Maple Leafs have 79 points with seven games to play, and will be keeping an eye on Thursday’s matchup between the Lightning (85 points) and ninth-place Atlanta Thrashers (80) at Tampa Bay.

“We’re going to keep fighting and give it our best shot,” Tucker said.

The Maple Leafs beat the Islanders despite being outshot 29-22 and twice falling behind.

“Things really didn’t go our way,” Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. “But we found a way to get the two points.”

Meanwhile, the Bruins have dropped four straight and seven of their last eight games. They’re eliminated from playoff contention after consecutive road losses at Montreal, 2-0 last Saturday and 5-3 on Tuesday.

Bruins defenseman Brian Leetch returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing Saturday’s game because of a head injury.

The Maple Leafs have won two straight against Boston, although the Bruins have taken two of three meetings this season on their home ice.

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