BOSTON — It’s finally time.
The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs square off in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night at TD Garden, beginning their quest for Lord Stanley’s hardware.
Both teams are familiar with each other, having met in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs just last year. The B’s and Leafs battled for the second seed in the Atlantic Division for much of the season, but Boston locked it up and will get home-ice advantage throughout the series.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy is giving both Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman a shot in Game 1, with Kuhlman skating on the second line and Clifton pairing up with Matt Grzelcyk. David Backes is the odd man out for Game 1.
Tuukka Rask will get the start between the pipes, opposite of Frederik Andersen.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (0-0)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Karson Kuhlman
Marcus Johansson — Charlie Coyle — Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom — Noel Acciari — Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Connor Clifton
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (0-0)
Zach Hyman — John Tavares — Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson — Auston Matthews — Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau — Nazem Kadri — William Nylander
Trevor Moore — Frederik Gauthier — Connor Brown
Morgan Rielly — Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin — Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner — Travis Dermott
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images