Leafs' Tyler Bozak will play in Game 1 vs. Bruins | Hockey | CBC Sports

Playoffs 2013Leafs' Tyler Bozak will play in Game 1 vs. Bruins

Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 | 02:01 PM

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Tyler Bozak, front, had 12 goals and 28 points in 46 games this season. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Tyler Bozak, front, had 12 goals and 28 points in 46 games this season. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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News and storylines ahead of Game 1 between the Maple Leafs and Bruins on Wednesday night in Boston, including Toronto's first-line centre Tyler Bozak declaring himself ready to play.
News and storylines ahead of Game 1 between the Maple Leafs and Bruins on Wednesday night in Boston (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET):

Bozak will play

Toronto Maple Leafs first-line centre Tyler Bozak missed the last two games of the regular season with a suspected shoulder ailment he suffered a week ago in a game against the Florida Panthers.

But the underrated Bozak, who enjoyed a productive 12-goal, 28-point season, told Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle that he felt 100 per cent ready to go on Wednesday morning.

"I've waited a long time to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game and I'm not going to miss it," Bozak said after the morning skate.

The only other lineup change it appears that Carlyle will have to make prior to his team's series opener against the Boston Bruins was whether to play veteran Ryan O'Byrne or rookie Mike Kostka on defence.

Plenty of connections between Bruins, Leafs

Bruins third-line centre Chris Kelly was born in Toronto, but raised in nearby Bowmanville, Ont. He was an extra on the Ottawa Senators the last time the Maple Leafs were in the playoffs, in 2004, and beat the Senators in the first round.

"I have a lot of friends back home in the Toronto area who I will talk to ... in about two weeks," Kelly said with a smile.

Also on that Senators team were current Bruins Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden. Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel and fourth-liner Colton Orr played for the Bruins.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was a 2005 first-round selection by Toronto. He was dealt to Boston in exchange for former Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft. The 32-year-old goalie spent this past season playing in Italy for Milan.

Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton was a Maple Leafs seventh-round draft pick in 1997. He also won a Stanley Cup with Carlyle when the two were with the Anaheim Ducks six years ago.

"Randy is an extremely smart coach," Thornton said. "He'll have his team prepared. I have the utmost respect for him. I can't say enough good things about him."

Bruins brush off stumble to finish line

At 4-6-2, the Bruins had the worst closing12-game segment of the 16 teams who made the playoffs.

They were forced to play six games in the final nine days of the regular season because of the Boston Marathon bombings. But after two-plus days of rest, Boston head coach Claude Julien believes his team is ready.

"It's easy, you turn the page," said Julien, when asked if his team can shake its late-season funk. "It's a new season. When you look at the playoffs, from the first day on until the end, it's an opportunity for 16 teams to turn the page and get an opportunity.

"Every year, you've seen surprise teams win the Stanley Cup, and it hasn't necessarily been the top teams. It's been whoever's been playing the best hockey at the right time of the year. I think our guys have enough experience that they understand that."

Line combinations and defence pairings

Boston

Milan Lucic -- David Krejci -- Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins -- Chris Kelly -- Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille -- Gregory Campbell -- Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara -- Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference -- Johnny Boychuk
Wade Redden -- Adam McQuaid

Starting goalie: Tuukka Rask

Toronto

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul -- Nazem Kadri -- Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur -- Mikhail Grabovski -- Leo Komarov
Frazer McLaren -- Jay McClement -- Colton Orr

Carl Gunnarsson -- Dion Phaneuf
John-Michael Liles -- Ryan O'Byrne or Mike Kostka
Mark Frase -- Cody Franson

Starting goalie: James Reimer

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