"It's a weird play, but we'll take all goals", defenseman Jake Muzzin said on Thursday night after Mitch Marner converted Toronto's first successful postseason penalty shot in two decades to propel the Leafs to a 4-1 victory over Boston. What surprised me about game one was how ineffective the Bruins were when they had a 5-on5 situation on the ice.
"A guy in the elevator told me we were all playing on the same day". The Lightning unraveled the Bruins past year in the second round, preventing their bottom six from registering a single point, and that issue won't go away if Frederik Andersen plays at the caliber that originally placed him in the Vezina conversation.
"He's pretty good at staying steady with his mindset", Leafs winger Connor Brown added.
NOTE: Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:30pm and its live on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.
Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal for the Bruins, who could not get much offense from their top line. Brad Marchand skated toward the high slot and drew a couple of defenders to him before hitting Bergeron on a backdoor cut to the right side of the slot. Marner had five shots in total and finished the game with a plus-three rating. Yeah, we would have liked the penalty shot save.
He joins Maple Leafs legend Mats Sundin as the only players to score on a penalty shot in the postseason. "Because we have a team in the case of the Raptors that has more playoff experience on its roster than ever before and we have a team in the case of the Leafs that is so young and so fast and we saw what a great start they got off to (Thursday) night".
"They are a 100-point team, so I don't think there was a lack of respect". It made it hard on the defense. "Maybe we weren't ready for that kind of pressure, but they were just better that we were". Our four lines played very well tonight with our defensive core.
Nazem Kadri sent Nylander off on a breakaway to make it 3-1 with 95 seconds left in the period. "I've been thinking just to hit the net and get it on it". "And I knew I had to put a little bit of extra juice on it for it to get there". Their best player in my estimation scores a goal, plenty of time to come back.
The Bruins and Leafs had not met in three months, not having played each other in the regular season after Boston won 3-2 in Toronto on January 12. And David Krejci, who twice in his NHL career has led the league in playoff scoring, also has to find a way to produce starting in Game 2.
"A great win for us", Marner said. We played very well as a team, but we're going to need to keep it going throughout the series.
"When you don't see a team for a while, when you talk about, "Oh, they're going to do this and stretch you out" and all of a sudden they do it and it's in your net, it gets your attention", Cassidy said. We backchecked well, made it hard for them to get to our net. "As soon as I got back to the bench, I was like 'Holy cow!' First shift over a minute. It was a nice move, fresh ice too, so I probably should've recognized that, but yeah, good move".
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