The Boston Bruins will look to put their first losing streak of the season behind them when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the tail end of a home-and-home set Tuesday.
Boston has dropped two straight, falling in a shootout to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday before a 4-3 defeat in overtime against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday. In the latter contest, Morgan Rielly scored the game-winner at 3:54 of the extra period.
Since then, the Bruins have been off while the Maple Leafs fell in 4-3 overtime at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
Despite their short skid, the Bruins have picked up points in four straight games and seven of eight to begin the season. Still, the sting of two close losses is front of mind for the club, especially against two Atlantic Division opponents and fellow playoff favorites.
"I thought we played well enough to get two points tonight," Boston goaltender Jaroslav Halak said after making 25 saves Saturday. "One of those games that we get some chances, they got some bounces their way and they won a game. Happy for the point obviously, disappointed at the same time. It is what it is. We have to turn the page and get ready for the next one."
Tuukka Rask will return to the Bruins' net for the Tuesday contest, the 500th game of his career. Rask is 17-7-2 with a 2.13 goals-against average in 29 appearances against Toronto.
"Milestone game," Rask said. "It's good. It's fun. Played my first game against the Leafs, and now milestone game against them, kind of cool."
Maple Leafs backup Michael Hutchinson is expected to get the nod after Frederik Andersen made 34 stops in the Monday defeat. Hutchinson, a Bruins draft pick in 2008, has allowed nine goals in two starts this season.
Toronto's loss to Columbus was just its second in its past five games, and it came in unlikely fashion. Mitchell Marner was called for a hooking penalty on a breakaway at 1:57 of overtime, allowing Gustav Nyquist to score on a penalty shot and seal the victory for the Blue Jackets.
"It's unfortunate," Marner said. "We got sticks in their feet, their hands, and they called it. You want to have those ones back, but stuff happens."
Auston Matthews scored his eighth goal of the season and added an assist in the defeat, leading the way for the Maple Leafs, whose 35 goals scored are tied for second in the league with Colorado, and just one behind Washington.
Boston's David Pastrnak is tied for the league lead with nine goals, having scored seven in his last three games. He is riding a six-game points streak, with linemates Patrice Bergeron (two goals, six assists) and Brad Marchand (four goals, eight assists) each at seven straight games.
The Maple Leafs are still without captain John Tavares, who has missed two games and is out at least two weeks with a broken finger.
--Field Level Media