Game 1 Playoff Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

The Original Six rivals meet again in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Game 1 will be played at TD Gardens on Thursday Night.

 

The rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins has officially been renewed as the two will be going head to head during the first round of the playoffs.

 
In 2013, the Boston Bruins made history when they rallied from a three goal deficit in the 3rd period of Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and later defeating them in overtime. The Bruins were down by one and pulled goalie Tuukka Rask. The Bruins went on to score twice with Patrice Bergeron tying it up with 51 seconds left in the game before scoring the game winning goal in OT.

 

Kadri is just one of five players from the 2013 team who is still a member of the Maple Leafs.

 

Both teams will be up for a challenge as the Bruins have a couple veterans that have some serious playoff experience.

 
The Bruins are being lead by Rask, Bergeron, Chara and Marchard. Both teams however, are vastly different from when they last met in the playoffs. They each are playing for a new coach and are much younger and faster.

 
During the regular season, the Maple Leafs beat the Bruins in three of the four games and one of which took place in overtime.

 
The Maple Leafs were able to finish 3rd in the Atlantic Division with a 49-26-7 record which left them just seven points behind the Bruins.

 
The Bruins had a chance to compete to win the division but lost to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night which put them just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

The Bruins have dealt with multiple injuries throughout the year and because of the recent plague of injuries that swept the roster the Bruins went 1-3-1 over the last 5 games.

 
The Bruins proved that the injuries would not slow them down as they have won 50 games this season which further proves that the Bruins are a very talented team and they deserve to be where they are this postseason.

 

The Bruins appear to be healthier than they have been for sometime and rookie Ryan Donato needs to stay healthy as he has proven to be an offensive factor for the team late down the stretch but may be a healthy scratch for Game 1. Both Rick Nash and Sean Kuraly were able to return to practice on Monday and may be healthy enough to play Game 1. Unfortunately though, the Bruins will be without C Riley Nash who experienced an ear injury.

 
Rask will be new for the Bruins and during his postseason experience posted a 30-23 record with a 2.12 goals against average (GAA) along with a .928 save percentage. He has faced the Maple Leafs during his career and during those games Rask has a 16-7-2 record with a 2.14 GAA and a .925 save percentage during the regular season and holds a 4-3 record against them in the postseason.

 
Fredrick Anderson will be in net for the Maple Leafs. Anderson had a .884 save percentage in the month of March and won twice in April. Anderson has had a very nice career against the Bruins as a member of Anaheim and Toronto. Anderson has a 10-1-0 record with a 2.09 GAA and a save percentage of .935 during his time against the Bruins. Anderson had 5 shutouts during the regular season while Rask had 3. During his playoff career, Anderson is 19-13 with a 2.31 GAA and a save percentage of .915. However, Anderson lost twice in Game 7 during his time with the Ducks that would have sent Anaheim to the Finals.

Key to a Bruins Victory:

Bruins need to continue to play both a physical and quick game. They have been a dominate force both offensively and defensively throughout the season and if they can keep it up they will advance against Toronto.

Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Keys to a Maple Leafs Victory:

The Maple Leafs are a fast, young and aggressive team and they showed that all season long. With most of Toronto being healthy they will be able to play aggressive and force a tough matchup for the Bruins.

Vancouver Canucks v Toronto Maple Leafs

Game Prediction:

Leafs will take Game 1 as they beat the Bruins 3-1

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