A pair of teams from the Atlantic Division will square off in the first round of the NHL Playoffs as the Toronto Maple Leafs grapple with the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins took three of the four regular-season meetings between these teams. The Maple Leafs took game one of this best-of-seven series on Thursday night by a score of 4-1.
Leafs Were Playing Possum?
The Toronto Maple Leafs had a rough ending to the regular as they lost their final three games in a row and 10 of their final 14. Toronto then went out and stunned Boston in game one of this series by a score of 4-1. Were they just playing possum down the stretch and can they keep it going in this one? We shall see. The Leafs also had lost three of the fourregular-season meetings with the Bruins, which mad the win even more stunning. The Maple Leafs did trail the game 1-0 at the midway point of the first period, but after that, it was all Toronto. Scoring in the win was Mitchell Marner, who scored twice and now has 28 on the year, William Nylander, which was his 8th and John Tavares, which was his team-leading 48th.
Grabbing the win in game one was Frederik Andersen, who stopped 37 of the 38 shots that he faced. During the regular season, he went 36-23 with a 2.77 GAA, including 18-12 with a 2.73 GAA on the road and 1-1 with a 4.52 ERA against the Bruins. In his career, he has gone 23-16 with a 2.57 GAA in the postseason and 11-2 with a 2.42 GAA against the Bruins. The Maple Leafs have gone 24-18 on the road and they have averaged 3.43 gpg and have allowed 3.02 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Toronto ranked 8th in the league in power play conversions at 21.8% and 17th in penalty kill at 79.9%.
Leafs Stun Bruins In Game One
The Boston Bruins were tied with the Calgary Flames for the 2nd most points in the league and they had won three of their four regular season games against the Leafs. Still, that mattered little in game one of this series as they fell by a score of 4-1. Boston had been a hot offensive team as they averaged 4.22 gpg over their previous nine games, but the Leafs held them in check as all Boston could muster was a goal by Patrice Bergeron. It was his 33rd of the year and it gave Boston a 1-0 lead just 9:31 into the game. It was all Toronto after that. Boston has been a strong home team and they will now look to even up the series as they do not want to head to Toronto down 2-0. Despite the loss, Boston has still won six of the last eight at home against Toronto.
Absorbing the loss in game one was Tuukka Rask, who allowed three goals on 32 shot attempts. Rask went 27-18 with a 2.48 GAA on the year overall, including 15-8 with a 2.32 GAA here at home and 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA against the Maple Leafs. In his career, he has gone 17-9 with a 2.13 GAA against the Maple Leafs (Reg Sea) and 35-31 with a 2.26 GAA in the postseason. The Bruins have gone 29-13 here at home and they have averaged 3.36 gpg and have allowed 2.48 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Boston ranked 3rd in the league in power play conversions at 25.9% and 16th in penalty kill at 79.9%.
- 14-4 in their last 18 games playing on 1 days rest
- 40-17 in their last 57 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 0-7 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game
- Maple Leafs are 0-6 in their last 6 games following a win