Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Matthews says Leafs better prepared for rematch vs. Bruins

Matthews says Leafs better prepared for rematch vs. Bruins

The hustle that forced the Bruins to make mistakes, though: That's something they are planning to do over and over again.

While the Maple Leafs would eventually battle back to push the series to seven games, they were outclassed by the Bruins, who averaged four goals per game in the series and outscored Toronto 28-20. We've been exposed by them on those breakaways and you give up two, three in a row that period, so shame on us. Boston struck first but Marner struck twice: first, on a lunging shot after a Jake Muzzin shot was deflected and careened off the post and, second on the penalty shot when Marner flashed his smooth hands, drew the puck backhand and forehand multiple times in tight space and deked past Tuukka Rask. Marner's shot was Toronto's fourth postseason attempt. "Obviously, that did the opposite".

In Boston, the Bruins have to be better in Game 2 (8 p.m. ET, NBC) on Saturday after losing the series opener on home ice.

It's nearly a foregone conclusion that the Bruins will come out firing on all cylinders in Game 2.

"It's one game, but it gets us a step closer to where we want to get to", said John Tavares, who added an empty-netter to clinch it. Tuukka Rask was in net for the Bruins and he managed to save 29 shots for the team, but he did allow three goals, giving the Bruins an ultimately insurmountable deficit. A warning sign like a first period playing out almost identically to the Game 1 that went south last spring determined that the Leafs needed something to reverse course.

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DeBrusk crashed hard into the boards and appeared to go to the locker room for attention, but returned to the game.

"A little bit of both", said Marner, when asked if he went into the penalty shot with a gameplan or if it was instinct.

Maple Leafs newbie Jake Muzzin had a solid Game 1 and realizes that to win Game 2, they'll have to have an even better effort. His teammates rewarded him with more than enough offense. "It was a nice move". The Leafs quickly transitioned, with Nazem Kadri making a great pass to spring Nylander, whose shot jumped over Rask's stick and between his pads for a 3-1 lead. Rask came up with a pair of saves in the final minute to keep things from getting out of control, stopping Tavares on a breakaway with 38 seconds left and then a 3-on-1 at the horn. "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". "You know we gave up the first goal there when we missed an assignment, but I thought other than that we had played well, and we seemed to get back to it".

With the Toronto Maple Leafs up 1-0 in the series, all eyes shift to how the Boston Bruins respond in Game 2, as well as whether or not the Maple Leafs continue their success.

Instead, over time, the challenge that the Bruins present, which includes and won't be limited to their enormous talent and often overwhelming physicality, the hostile environment they call home and the confidence borne out of previous successes, all seemed more manageable this time. With the trio of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak accounting for over 40% of the team's goal production this season, shutting down the Bruins power trio is crucial to Toronto's success.

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