Matthews says Leafs better prepared for rematch vs. Bruins

Heather Diaz
April 13, 2019

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner scored an impressive short-handed penalty shot goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 1, the first goal of its kind in Leafs franchise playoff history.

The overall numbers were similar to his first two campaigns in Toronto, but he wound up making six fewer appearances than in 2016-17 and 2017-18, largely because of a groin injury that kept him out of the lineup for almost three weeks and no doubt impacted his mobility at times.

And, too much goalie Frederik Anderson who stopped 37 shots.

The 21-year-old got the Leafs back to even after the Bruins pulled ahead in the first period before connecting on his penalty shot with a ridiculous move on Tuukka Rask.

NOTE: Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:30pm and its live on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.

The Bruins dominated Toronto early on in last year's playoff matchup, with the top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand combining to score 20 total points in a pair of lopsided Bruins wins to open the series.

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. "And away you go". However, like I said before game one, there's something about getting an explosive team and plus money.

Then, about three minutes into the second with Boston on a power play, Marner flipped the puck ahead toward center ice and chased it down with a clear path to the goal.

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Expect the Maple Leafs defense in Game 2 to try to continue boxing out Bruins forwards in front of Andersen and force them out to the perimeter, a recipe that worked successfully in the opener. When he was just outside the crease, Jake DeBrusk was called for bringing him down from behind, and sending him crashing into Rask.

The Leafs, meanwhile, won their first Game 1 since 2003 and will be looking to go up 2-0 for the first time since 2002.

"We just wanted to stay above them", Marner said. "It's a battle. I think for all of us, like I said the last couple days, we're extremely hungry and we all feel ready for this challenge".

Nazem Kadri sent Nylander off on a breakaway to make it 3-1 with 95 seconds left in the period.

Instead, over time, the challenge that the Bruins present, which includes and won't be limited to their enormous talent and often overwhelming physicality, the hostile environment they call home and the confidence borne out of previous successes, all seemed more manageable this time.

Auston Matthews believes he and his Toronto Maple Leafs are more prepared to take on the Boston Bruins in the playoffs this time around. The last attempt was by Philadelphia's Ville Leino in 2010. Andrew Mangiapane broke the deadlock late in the second period for his first playoff goal, and Mikael Backlund also found the net.

Nicklas Backstrom scored two of Washington's three first-period goals as the Capitals held off a late Carolina rally for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Hurricanes in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

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