BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand, David Backes and David Krejci each scored a power-play goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
David Pastrnak also scored for Boston, and Sean Kuraly bunted one out of the air and into the net over goalie Frederik Andersen to make it 4-1 with seven minutes gone in the third period. Krejci bounced it in off Andersen from behind to make it 5-1 after Toronto’s Nazem Kadri was thrown out of the game and given a five-minute major for an elbow to Tommy Wingels’ head.
Zach Hyman scored Toronto’s only goal, and Andersen made 35 saves.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is back at the TD Garden on Saturday night.
The matchup is the first in the postseason for the teams since Toronto’s Game 7 collapse in the first round in 2013, when Boston rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third period, scoring twice in the last 82 seconds of regulation to send it into overtime. The Bruins went on to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Maple Leafs never had a lead to blow in this one.
And the Boston power play was the reason.
With James Van Riemsdyk off for hooking, Marchand scored on a backhander to give the Bruins the lead 5:28 into the game. Hyman tied it for the Leafs with about three minutes before the break but Backes put Boston back in front early in the second on a pass from Krejci.
Pastrnak converted a pass from Marchand with 38 seconds left in the period to make it 3-1, and then set up the next goal when he moved in on Andersen and bounced it off the post. As the puck fluttered in the air over the sprawled goalie, Kuraly came in trailing the play and knocked it into the net.
Pastrnak and Torey Krug had two assists apiece. … Toronto was 0-for-3 on the power play. Boston was 3-for-6. … The teams came into the game 34-34-1 in their first 69 playoff matchups, but the Maple Leafs hold an 8-6 series edge. … The Bruins pledged the profits of their 50/50 raffle — at least $50,000 — to support the victims of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash.
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