The Maple Leafs extended the series to seven games last spring, but elements in this win - John Tavares and Marner limiting the Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak trio at even strength, Jake Muzzin and Nikita Zaitsev driving meaningful results from the often-maligned middle pair and Kadri and Nylander combining for a goal - all seemed more material.
"We tried to keep our game plan simple".
"They've got a lot of continuity, chemistry".
"He's pretty good at staying steady with his mindset", Leafs winger Connor Brown added.
Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen made 37 saves, while Rask stopped 29 shots for Boston. "We wanted to make it hard on them getting to our blue line and getting it in". "That's going to be a problem for other teams to defend and that's something that we've got to take advantage of every single game - that speed".
NOTE: Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:30pm and its live on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket. But Marner tied it with about three minutes left in the period, sweeping in a rebound with such force he knocked himself off his skates. Marner had five shots in total and finished the game with a plus-three rating.
Made to wait a little longer after the referee pointed to the centre circle in response to Jake DeBrusk taking out his legs on a breakaway, Marner showed no signs of being unsettled by spending a few more moments in solitary to realize the stakes.
"We went through our lineup", Cassidy said.
"I think that was my goal". I thought Coyle was arguably the Bruins best player. Our four lines played very well tonight with our defensive core.
Nylander gave Toronto a 3-1 lead at 18:25 of the second after Nazem Kadri's pass put him on a breakaway. "I've been thinking just to hit the net and get it on it". "If I do get in, there are ways to do that". "So he did a great job skating up ice and finishing the job".
"You pressure them, and you can force turnovers and fumbled pucks", Muzzin said after Toronto took Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. 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. "They probably outplayed us in every position, out-coached us obviously, so they deserved to win".
"Go home, sleep, do work tomorrow, and then get ready for Saturday", Rask said when asked about moving forward.
"I hope it got their attention now because it's one of the things they do well. It was a nice move, fresh ice too, so I probably should've recognized that, but yeah, good move".
The Flames outclassed Colorado in a 4-0 win to open the series on Thursday night, and have now claimed victory in nine of 10 dates with the Avalanche since March 2016. Mats Sundin did it against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 4 of 1999 Eastern Conference Final.
The overall numbers were similar to his first two campaigns in Toronto, but he wound up making six fewer appearances than in 2016-17 and 2017-18, largely because of a groin injury that kept him out of the lineup for almost three weeks and no doubt impacted his mobility at times.