Streak on the line

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

If there's anything in the NHL that can knock the wind out of a season-high, three-game win streak, it's a date with the Boston Bruins.

"We've got a little momentum right now, so it can disappear in a hurry," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said yesterday. "We've got (to play) the best team in the east in Boston, so we've got to be better than we were (Tuesday) just to survive the Bruins."

Wilson is not one to get excited about the modest win streak -- especially given the Bruins have won 11 in a row at the TD Banknorth Garden -- and knows it will be a good test tonight.

Through a quirk in the schedule, this will be the Leafs fourth meeting with the Bruins already. The first was a 4-2 victory in Boston on Oct. 23, a game in which they trailed 2-0 before engineering one of their most impressive comebacks of the season.

During the 11-game home winning streak, the Bruins have outscored the opposition by a 55-23 count. In their past 10 home wins, the Bruins have won by at least two goals.

HEAD GAINS

Forward Nik Hagman had his first full practice since sustaining a concussion against Washington on Dec. 6 and is hoping to get back into the lineup at some point on the Leafs three-game road trip which includes tonight's game in Boston, Saturday in Pittsburgh and Monday in Atlanta.

"I don't know, I've been out for three games and we've won all of them," Hagman joked after yesterday's practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

Hagman, who took a knee to the head against the Capitals, is more likely to return against the Penguins.

"At first my balance was a little bit off and I was having some headaches so it was something I had to take care of," he said. "But (the headaches) are gone now. Hopefully I'll be able to go on Saturday."

LOOSE LEAFS

Bruins forward Phil Kessel is riding an NHL best 15-game points streak into tonight's game ... Leafs defenceman Jeff Finger blocked eight shots in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over the Devils ... The Leafs were the most recent team to win in Boston, and the only opponent to do it so in regulation time this season.


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