Bruins Drop First Playoff Game Against Maple Leafs, 4-1

Aubrey Yates
April 14, 2019

The NHL is getting younger and more skilled, and youth is being served in a big way early in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Much credit needs to be given to Toronto, they're doing everything right tonight. "They just go out and play and have some fun".

Now sporting their first lead in a playoff series with Boston since 1959 - also the last time they beat Boston in the postseason - the Maple Leafs have turned the tables on their divisional rivals in National Hockey League playoff betting, climbing to short -160 favorites to knock off the Bruins on the National Hockey League series prices at Bovada. And while the Bruins are likely to come out with a characteristic physical response in Game 2, the best betting value in this series can be found in a Toronto club that looks to have finally come of age.

His skill set has the potential to make a real difference at the most important time of year.

The Stars won in Nashville thanks in large part to Heiskanen's goal and assist in Game 1. Rookies Karson Kuhlman and Connor Clifton will also make their playoff debuts. "I was tracking it to the corner and it ended up in the back of the net", said Rask. He's such an asset. I put my whole weight on my right foot, and then I just couldn't get there anymore.

The team that wins Game 1 has a best-of-7 series record of 467-214 (.686).

The Maple Leafs were bounced by the Bruins in seven games last spring, and Matthews faced significant scrutiny after registering just two points in the series.

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Even the run of play seemed to mirror Boston's offensive explosion in that opener almost exactly, but it was Marner's penalty shot goal, and then a cross-zone connection between Nazem Kadri and William Nylander, that interrupted what amounted to ultimately hollow waves of attack from the Bruins in a lopsided middle frame.

While a save on either one of those might have changed the game, Coach Bruce Cassidy didn't blame his goalie.

It's not easy to hit or stop Nylander, either. The Lightning unraveled the Bruins a year ago in the second round, preventing their bottom six from registering a single point, and that issue won't go away if Frederik Andersen plays at the caliber that originally placed him in the Vezina conversation.

"It's good for me", Nylander said.

The Leafs will take more of whatever got him revved up for Game 1 in Boston on Thursday night. It remains to be seen whether the winger will be in the lineup for Game 2, and Backes noted he needs to be ready whether or not he's called upon. What surprised me about game one was how ineffective the Bruins were when they had a 5-on5 situation on the ice. "We'll get better as the series goes along". Not even close. But the idea that the Leafs now have means to this time diffuse the Bruins seems more realistic. Seemingly everyone is day-to-day or a game-time decision.

Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, who won a first-round series over the Maple Leafs in seven games last season. By the end of the night there were a lot of Toronto players who you could say, that was the stuff.

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