Boston Bruins

The Bruins’ regular season ended with a whimper, but their playoff run began with a deafening roar. They dominated the majority of the action against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series on Thursday night, winning by a 5-1 final.

Brad Marchand got the scoring started for the Bruins amid a flurry of early scoring chances. Taking a slick pass from Torey Krug on a power play rush, Marchand slipped behind unsuspecting Leafs defenseman Roman Polak and lifted a backhand over Frederik Andersen to make it 1-0 Bruins.

The Leafs showed off their speed up front when left winger Zach Hyman beat David Krejci to a loose puck and raced by Charlie McAvoy to get a backhand of his own over a sprawled Tuukka Rask and tie the game 1-1. From there, the Leafs started to gain momentum as the first period wound down.

Toronto continued to pace the action early in the second, but a power play opportunity shifted momentum back in the Bruins’ favor. David Backes buried his first of the playoffs when Krejci fed him in front and Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey couldn’t clear Backes out. No. 42 roofed it for the power play tally to put the Bruins back on top, 2-1.

Despite taking back the lead, the Bruins could’ve used another goal to really put the pressure on the Leafs for the third. And they got it late in the period, when David Pastrnak took a pass from Marchand and ripped a wrist shot past Andersen to make it 3-1. Pastrnak quietly has three goals and three assists in seven career playoff games, a very good total for a 21-year-old.

The B’s only tightened their stranglehold on the game in the third period. The Leafs struggled to get their offense going, much like the first half of the first period, while the B’s kept the pressure on. Sean Kuraly eventually broke through with an eye-popping play to bat the puck out of the air and into the net to make it 4-1.

And David Krejci tacked on another score in the middle of the final frame with a bad-angle shot that bounced through Andersen’s pads and in.

This goal, in particular, was an egregious effort by Andersen – but the game was well in hand at that point.

Up Next: The Bruins and Leafs square off again in Game 2 on Saturday.

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