BOSTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs have drawn first blood.
The Bruins’ top line, which torched the Leafs in last season’s first-round matchup, was held pointless at even strength, as the Leafs cashed in on their scoring opportunities, taking a 4-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins on the power play. Mitch Marner potted two goals for the Leafs, including on a penalty shot, while William Nylander and John Tavares (empty net) also lit the lamp.
Tuukka Rask made 29 saves, while Frederik Andersen pushed away 37 shots.
Toronto takes a 1-0 series lead with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
All was even on the scoreboard after one period, with both teams lighting the lamp in the first. Toronto held the shot advantage 10-8.
The Bruins got their first real chance after Connor Clifton drew a high-sticking penalty on Nylander after crunching the forward into the boards.
Boston cashed in on the man advantage, with Marchand slipping into the slot, then feeding a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Bergeron for the opening goal at 9:31.
Toronto evened things up 16:44. After an offensive zone faceoff win by Tavares, Jake Muzzin threw a point shot toward the net that Marner got a stick on but rang post. The Leafs forward was there for the rebound, however, and buried the second chance.
LEAFS BREAK AWAY
The Bruins outshot the Leafs 21-15 in the middle stanza, but it was the Leafs who jumped out to a 3-1 lead thanks to a penalty shot and breakaway goal.
The B’s got another prime power play chance early in the second, but it was the Maple Leafs who jumped in front. Jake DeBrusk was unable to handle a puck on the blue line, which sparked a Marner breakaway. DeBrusk tripped Marner up, which led to a penalty shot.
He doubled his tally, giving the Leafs a 2-1 lead at 2:47.
Toronto doubled up its lead following a beautiful breakout pass from Nazem Kadri.
Kadri hit Nylander in stride with a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone, which sparked a breakaway. Nylander beat Rask low glove side to make it 3-1 at 18:25.
Rask would come up big minutes later, stoning Tavares on the Leafs’ third breakaway opportunity of the game, but the damage had been done, as the Leafs headed into the final period with a two-goal lead.
LEAFS TAKE GAME 1
The Bruins’ five-on-five woes continued in the third period, failing to make a dent in their two-goal deficit as Andersen remained unsolvable.
Zdeno Chara went to the box at 11:45 for an interference penalty, which the B’s killed off thanks to a pair of Rask saves. But there was no wind in the sails from there.
Boston pulled Rask with 2:30 remaining in the game, but were unable to capitalize, with Tavares ultimately hitting the empty-netter to put things away and take a 1-0 series lead.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs continue their first-round series Saturday. Puck drop from TD Garden is slated for 8 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images