BOSTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 2-1 in overtime to keep their season alive for at least one more game.

The Leafs came out full throttle from the first shift of Game 5 and outplayed the Bruins in every aspect of their game. Boston head coach Jim Montgomery said that “desperation” was the difference in the game.

“We weren’t good enough. Just simple as that,” Montgomery told reporters after the game. “Toronto came out ready to play. They took it to us. We weren’t ready to match their desperation.”

Bruins captain Brad Marchand echoed Montgomery’s thoughts about the Leafs’ desperation.

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“They were just better,” Marchand said. “They came, and they were willing to leave it all on the line tonight, and we needed to be better than we were. It’s that simple. They were prepared to play and start the game and we weren’t. Unfortunately, we never really kind of got it together throughout the game.”

After the first 20 minutes of play, the Bruins were lucky to escape with the game tied at one. The Leafs outshot the Bruins by a margin of 11-2.

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“We go into the game, and we always try to evaluate our execution, our effort, and our emotion,” Montgomery said. Our execution was off, and I think our effort didn’t match theirs. I thought the emotion, I thought our crowd was great. I thought we had emotion going into the game. That was the only part of the threes that I evaluate that I thought we had.”

Montgomery said he didn’t have an explanation for why the Bruins started the game flat, which could have advanced them to the second round.

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“Again, we just weren’t good enough,” he said. “That’s … we weren’t good enough. I don’t have something to give you that’s concrete, that led to our slow start … besides Toronto was better than us.”

Even though Boston lost the opportunity to close out the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Montgomery said the Bruins can’t focus on what they didn’t accomplish in Game 5 and look forward to the opportunity in Game 6.

“It’s frustrating, but we do (have to turn the page),” Montgomery said. We just have to move on to the next game. That’s the playoffs. In the playoffs, each game is its own animal.

“For the majority of the series, we played real good hockey, and that’s what we got to get back to on Thursday night.”

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The series-clinching win has always been the hardest for a team to capture and Marchand said the Bruins can’t “dwell” on the Game 5 loss.

“It’s just the way it plays out sometimes,” Marchand said. “The hardest one to get is that last one. Like I said, they came, and they left it all out there. We need to be better. It’s all it is.

“We’ve been really good at staying in the moment. That doesn’t change. We didn’t expect this to be a quick series. We expect them to come out even harder next game. (…) Another opportunity presents itself next game, and we gotta be prepared to seize it.”

Here are more notes from Tuesday’s Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 5:

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— The Bruins were perfect on the penalty kill for the third straight game. Boston stifled three power play opportunities Toronto had in the game. The Bruins have gone 15-for-16 in shorthanded situations for 93.7% in the series.

— Trent Frederic scored the Bruins’ lone goal in the game, his third of the series. He said Boston will be ready for the challenge in Game 6.

“We did it the last time we were there (in Toronto),” We just got to find the same recipe. It’s hard to finish another team’s season. So, we’re going to go out and be a little more mentally sharp this Thursday.”

— Montgomery shuffled the lineup, with Justin Brazeau slotting in for John Beecher on the fourth line with Jesper Boqvist and Pat Maroon, and Matt Grzelyck returning to the lineup in place of Kevin Shattenkirk. Montgomery said he didn’t believe that factored into Boston’s loss.

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“No, I don’t. We made three changes before Game 3,” Montgomery said. “I don’t think changing personnel … we’ll have to reevaluate it. See how everybody did when we do film and see if we’re going to make different changes.”

— The Bruins will look to close out the series on Thursday night. Puck drop from Scotiabank Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can catch all the action on NESN following an hour of pregame coverage.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images