A Boston loss to the Ottawa Senators set up the first round of the NHL's Eastern Conference playoffs. That was the game that matched up Original Six rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins.
The Blue and White hadn't been to the postseason since 2004. The Bruins are a seasoned playoff team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The tension was high between the two teams as the playoff game began. The start was everything the Leafs could hope for, as they jumped out to a quick lead on a power-play goal by James van Reimsdyk.
After that fast start, the wheels began to come off. Wade Redden was able to squeeze a shot past Reimer to tie the game up at one. It got worse, as Nathan Horton was able to tip a shot past the Leafs netminder at the end of the first period.
The second period didn't bring any good goals for the Leafs, as Boston found twine twice courtesy of David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk to put the Bruins ahead 4-1.
The Leafs looked lost throughout most of the game, and this led to them being hemmed in their own zone and constantly giving up scoring chances. In addition to being out-chanced, the Leafs were pressured by the Bruins, which led to multiple turnovers.
The Buds were also badly out-shot, with the Bruins throwing 40 on Reimer compared to the 20 the Leafs mustered.
There were, however, some bright spots for the Buds on this night. JVR and Mikhail Grabovski were the Leafs' best players. They brought energy and scoring chances each shift.
Tyler Bozak and the rest of the team also had a good night in the face-off dot. They won the majority of the draws for a total of 29-25.
The also out-hit the Bruins by a total of 37-30.
The Blue and White learned some lessons tonight. They should look to make some big changes when Game 2 rolls around this coming Saturday.
They need to limit their turnovers, dump and chase the puck deep in the Bruins zone and work on getting some quality chances.
There are still some big games left and some great hockey to played. The Leafs need to have a short memory and come ready to put forth their best effort on Saturday.
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