Bruins blow past Maple Leafs, grab 1-0 series lead

Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after being called for boarding during the third period of Game 1 in Boston

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maples Leafs, two original six rivals, met for the first game of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup.

At least Marchand was, but with his mouth, not his words.

Boston's top line of Patrice Bergeron, Marchand and David Pastrnak was a circus show. Kadri said "I don't really think the score reflected how the game went". He said it without smirking.

Last year, the Leafs weren't expected to make the playoffs so it was a bonus, but fans are expecting a lot more from them this year, and are hoping for at least a second round appearance.

That was part of it. Ryan has played center, but not much at the National Hockey League level.

Pastrnak scored to make it 3-1 from Marchand and Bergeron late in the second period, with Babcock caught on an icing and the Tomas Plekanec line was terribly overmatched, and Bergeron winning an offensive zone faceoff rather easily.

Toronto killed off two penalties to start the third, but Kuraly made it 4-1 when he batted the puck out of mid-air after Andersen robbed Pastrnak. Toronto won three of its four regular-season games against Boston, and the teams are meeting in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Krejci finished with a goal and an assist.

The Bruins pounced on the Leafs immediately and David Backes made it two power-play goals in as many opportunities at 15:43 by out-fighting Leafs defenceman Ron Hainsey for a rebound.

Pastrnak's confidence and his line's stellar play in Game 1 suggests the Bruins will be able to keep up with the Leafs if the series becomes a high-scoring affair.

And now, a defeat is nearly certain to be followed by a suspension of Nazem Kadri, who carelessly hit Tommy Wingels and was tossed for his indiscretion.

With such a wide margin of victory in Game 1, is this the Bruins' series to lose? It's another to lose a player of effect. "We're talking all the time about what we're doing and how we're doing it". During the regular season, the Leafs were masters at finding the open spots on the ice and getting the puck to them.

Toronto never looked this out of place in all of their series against Washington past year. But Marchand was an absolute force on Thursday night, along with his linemates.

"We had a good run after that, " Rask said. A lot of those things go into it.

He can be that kind of annoying and straight-faced, even off the ice. "Whatever happens we'll move onto Game 2".

That isn't something anyone wants to envision in Toronto. If the Bruins are able to get Nash back it would be big. What impressed Bergeron was Marchand's discipline, despite his back and forth with Komarov. "But we need him on the ice", said Bergeron.

Any chance for momentum to start the third period was lost when Leaf forwards Mitch Marner and Kadri took penalties in the first five minutes.

Still, Marchand knows that he and the B's still have a long way to go.

It was one of a laundry list of items the Leafs did wrong.

But as the Leafs successfully weathered a storm that at one point saw them out-attempted 12-to-1 in shot attempts, a rare misplay from Zdeno Chara in the attacking zone gave Zach Hyman the inch of breathing room the Maple Leafs needed. It was no contest. Oh yeah, bring it on, they said. "Good to jump back in for us".

It was worse than that.

For one night, anyway, the monkey has been firmly slapped away. There is nothing in this to feel good about.

Related:

Comments


Other news