Boston Bruins: Slight changes to the lines for game one

Boston Bruins winger Ryan Donato

Able to finally come up for air after trudging through 21 games in the final 39 days of the regular season, the Boston Bruins came out and dictated play in their postseason opener Thursday night at TD Garden. Matthews and Nylander were shut out by the Bruins and the only Toronto score, on a terrific individual play by Zach Hyman, came with Boston changing lines.

While the game wasn't completely out of hand, Nazem Kadri did his best to prevent the Maple Leafs from mounting any comeback attempt.

Power-play opportunities_Toronto 0 of 3; Boston 3 of 6. We weren't able to get any long, sustained pushes in their end. "We need to be a little better than we were in the next game".

Kadri took two penalties, both boarding and against Tommy Wingels, the second of which earned him a game misconduct, and after Drew Doughty was suspended earlier in the day, the sequence of events that unfolded in the third should draw another one. Oh yeah, bring it on, they said. "That just pumps me up and I'm sure I speak for a lot of other guys".

Pastrnak scored to make it 3-1 from Marchand and Bergeron late in the second period, with Babcock caught on an icing and the Tomas Plekanec line was terribly overmatched, and Bergeron winning an offensive zone faceoff rather easily. The game calmed down at the end of the first, the start of the second. Key players like Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Patrice Bergeron, and David Backes all missed significant time down the stretch of the season. That's how the coach handled it for the most part, although the Bruins' big unit dominated every line they played against. However, it is tough to judge anything based on the season series after all the irregularities that occurred in the four games. Krug eventually found Brad Marchand, who scored the game's first goal. As the midway point of the period approached, the Bruins held a 14-1 edge in shot attempts. The line had 13 shots on goal.

A few seconds later, Leafs winger Hyman threw his team a lifeline with a fabulous playoff-style goal.

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At the time of the sweep, Boston was a struggling team having lost six of eight games after the back-to-back against the Leafs. Still, as Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly put it before Game 1 began, "If we didn't believe, we wouldn't put the pressure on ourselves".

If the next one is as good as the first, the Bruins will have a good chance to put themselves in firm control of this series. You think you're a special team? Flip a coin for game one because this series is going seven games where no 4-1 lead will be safe.

The Leafs were beaten 5-1 in Game 1 and they were significantly outplayed, outworked, outthought, and out-disciplined by the Bruins and that may be being kind.

They led Chicago 2-1 in the finals before losing three straight, giving up two goals 17 seconds apart in the final minutes of the finale before watching the Blackhawks skate around the TD Garden ice with the Cup.

Their best player, Matthews played just 4:07 in the third, and barely over 15 minutes overall due to the team being short-handed so much.

Toronto surrendered another power play goal, and spent nearly half of the period shorthanded, forcing players like Auston Matthews to wait on the bench.

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