The Leafs drew first blood in their Round One series against Boston, playing a near-perfect road game en route to a 4-1 victory. It was Toronto’s first Game 1 victory in a playoff series since 2003 (Eastern Conference quarter-final versus Philadelphia).
- Mitch Marner scored a pair of goals to extend his playoff point streak to seven games, dating back to 2018. After converting on a rebound in the first period during a flurry in which his team hit the post twice, Marner saved his highlight reel play for the second frame. He drew a penalty shot after being tripped by Jake DeBrusk on a shorthanded breakaway, then showed great patience in outwaiting Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
- A phenomenal breakout pass from Nazem Kadri to William Nylander resulted in the Leafs’ third goal. Toronto had a pair of subsequent breakaways to close out the second period, but neither John Tavares nor Auston Matthews was successful.
- The fourth line of Trevor Moore, Frederik Gauthier and Connor Brown brought a great work ethic to the game. It was Brown’s hit on Marcus Johnasson that gained momentum for Toronto in first period with the Leafs down 1-0.
- Frederik Andersen had a solid 37-save outing and was called upon to make several big saves, particularly in the second period during which Boston generated 21 shots.
- Toronto’s defence – despite a lackadaisical second period – thoroughly neutralized its opponents. The Bruins were held without an even strength goal.
- John Tavares rounded out the scoring into an empty net
Mitch Marner 🚨
Penalty Shot ✅ 2-1 Leafs. pic.twitter.com/eh8MPh3Dht
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) April 12, 2019
Taking the 4th ever penalty shot in @MapleLeafs playoff history, Mitch Marner makes it 2-1 vs BOS. He joins Mats Sundin (Gm4 of 1999 Eastern Conf Final vs BUF) as the only 2 to score
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) April 12, 2019
- William Nylander’s lazy retaliatory penalty on Connor Clifton led to Boston’s opening goal of the game, a power play marker by Patrice Bergeron.
- Toronto seemed to be standing around for a stretch in the second period, leaving Andersen to his own devices to preserve the lead for his team. Luckily for the Leafs, Nylander’s goal seemed to break the game open.
- Come on Leafs Twitter. “4-1 lead in Boston” jokes? That was 2013. Let it go.
In 2019, Rob co-wrote with Evan Gubernick “Hockey Addict’s Guide: Toronto”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.