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Summary: Bruins over Maple Leafs, 5-1, in Game 1

The Boston Bruins won Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the TD Garden as Jake DeBrusk helped strike twice on the power play.

DeBrusk finished the night with three points.

“I really liked our team discipline,” Jim Montgomery said. “I loved the performance and the emotion we played with.”

The B’s fourth line provided the team’s momentum, as Jesper Bosqvist set up Johnny Beecher for the opening goal of the game and the first shot of the match. Pat Maroon delivered hit after hit, including one that sent Timothy Liljegren to the Bruin bench.

The Bruins found themselves on a 4-on-3 penalty kill to start the second period. Successfully killing it shifted more momentum their way for a dominant 20 minutes.

DeBrusk’s feed to Brandon Carlo for a one-timer extended their lead early in the period before DeBrusk added a pair of power play goals to end the frame.

The Maple Leafs tried to bounce back and saw David Kampf find a rebound. But Trent Frederic further softened the Bruins’ lead with an empty-net goal.

Here are the highlights!

First period:

The Bruins opened the scoring at 2:26 of the first period.

On a 2-on-1, Jesper Boqvist passed to Johnny Beecher, where he fired a quick shot past Ilya Samsonov. 1-0 Bruins.

Second period:

The Bruins took a two-goal lead at 5:37 of the second period.

From behind the net, Jake DeBrusk found Carlo who threw a long one-timer on net that flew past Samsonov’s blocker. 2-0 Bruins.

The Bruins scored on the power play at 15:02 of the second period.

Jake DeBrusk circled to the top of the right circle to loft a wrist shot past Samsonov. 3-0 Bruins.

The Bruins extended their lead at 17:34 with another power play goal from DeBrusk.

Brad Marchand made a pass from the goal line to DeBrusk in the paint so he could tap it in. 4-0 Bruins.

Third period:

The Maple Leafs bounced back at 1:39 of the third period.

David Kampf picked up the rebound from Connor Dewar’s attempt. 4-1 match.

Trent Frederic scored an empty-net goal at 17:52 of the third period to cap off the Bruins’ victory. Final score: 5-1 Bruins.

Game Notes:

  • One of the bigger storylines leading into this game, and one that will likely continue in this series, is Jim Montgomery’s goaltending game plan. He wouldn’t give a definitive answer as to who gets Game 2, but said it would be hard to be against starting Swayman after the game he had.
  • Swayman made 35 saves in the win. He had some big saves on a momentum swing that could have easily gotten the Maple Leafs within one score in the second period. Swayman was mostly concerned with the 4-on-3 PK with so much open space and Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares shooting at him.
  • The Bruins’ fourth line created energy out of the gate – not just with Johnny Beecher’s goal, but also with their physicality. Maroon seemed to be coming into his own and playing to his strengths.
  • There were 100 hits in Game 1: 50 from each side. Maroon led with six hits.
  • Montgomery also said after the game that Maroon is a Nick Foligno-type presence – someone who is very vocal on the bench, is positive and reinforces what needs to be done on the next shift.
  • The game was won in the second period, where a few lucky bounces and posts kept the Maple Leafs off the scoreboard. One moment in particular stood out, and that was when Matthews had a wide open net after Swayman aggressively came out for a puck play. Matthews finally hit the post.
  • The Bruins recently made adjustments on the power play and it paid off in the first game. It’s also fun to see Marchand and DeBrusk connecting on the power play and their line. Marchand’s pass on DeBrusk’s second power play goal was so simple, but effective. Hopefully they continue to keep their game simple as the series progresses.
  • Postgame soundbite from Carlo: “I think we did a good job of paying attention to the little details tonight,” said Carlo. “There were times when they got little nudges, but overall we didn’t get too zealous about anything.”
  • Montgomery said he thought this was Beecher’s best game in his first NHL postseason game. “The challenge not just for him, but for the whole group is, ‘Can we do it again?’” Montgomery said.
  • The Bruins and Maple Leafs return to TD Garden for Game 2 on Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m.