Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Behind Enemy Lines: Maple Leafs shift their focus to Game 2

Behind Enemy Lines: Maple Leafs shift their focus to Game 2

Mitchell Marner scored twice to help the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at TD Garden on Thursday.

Marner paced the Leafs with nine points in their seven-game exit at the hands of the Bruins at this stage some 12 months ago, and once again demonstrated an uncanny ability to step up in big moments. Prevailing 4-3 in overtime, the UMass Minutemen will next take on the team from Minnesota Duluth tomorrow night.

"They are a 100-point team, so I don't think there was a lack of respect".

On the penalty shot, Marner took it tantalizingly close to Tuukka Rask's stick before pulling it back and tucking it by his left pad. "He reads the play so well".

"He's an elite player in the league at a young age", Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. Play him hard, play him honest one-on-one.

With the score tied at one in the second period, Marner picked up a loose puck during a Bruins powerplay and barrelled down on Boston's goaltender Tuukka Rask. "Muzzy and (defence partner Nikita) Zaitsev did a great job as well".

The Maple Leafs' talented core has entered this postseason showing clear signs of the benefits gained from last year's brutal playoff experience.

Tory also mentioned golfer Corey Conners as "somebody we can adopt as a near Torontonian". "We really kept our composure".

Now they'll have to live with that shame until Saturday night, when they'll encounter an opponent brimming with confidence. What surprised me about game one was how ineffective the Bruins were when they had a 5-on5 situation on the ice. "We have to be better".

Marner scored a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot at 2:47 of the second period for a 2-1 Toronto lead. In fact, they recorded the same amount of hits and shots as Boston; the Maple Leafs were just a lot more effective in front of the goal.

I'm pretty sure I didn't take the Washington Capitals to take the Cup previous year, but I did take them to win the first two rounds, including a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Frederik Andersen has given up one goal on 38 shots faced. You could argue that Rask actually stopped the bleeding after the Nylander goal when the Bruins did anything but, as he came through with a breakaway stop 0n John Tavares and was saved by the bell in what looked to be the makings of a sure goal at the end of the second frame.

Maple Leafs newbie Jake Muzzin had a solid Game 1 and realizes that to win Game 2, they'll have to have an even better effort. The Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed three or more goals in 10 of their last 14 games.

"Sometimes you get ... with some time off you get away from playing your style, you know, but I think maybe we thought it was going to be a little bit easier than it was out there", Bruins forward Brad Marchand said of Boston playing its first game in five days, the same as Toronto.

The Leafs will take more of whatever got him revved up for Game 1 in Boston on Thursday night. We had a great battle past year.

"We won a game", said Babcock.

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