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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Bruins - 04/19/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Thursday at Air Canada Centre in Game Four of their first-round playoff series:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

1. Bruins strike first with goal 28 seconds into game. After winning the first two games in Boston, the Bruins fell 4-2 to the Leafs Monday and were aiming to be the first of the two clubs to win a road game in the series. They got out to a good start in that regard Thursday, as blueliner Torey Krug's shot from just inside the Leafs' blueline beat goaltender Frederik Andersen up high and the visitors had a 1-0 lead 28 seconds into the contest.

Andersen was screened on the play, but regardless of how it happened, the Bruins goal immediately had the Leafs chasing the game, and after a solid Game 3 win, that's not how Toronto wanted to begin a showdown as important as this one.

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Bolstered by Game 3 win, Leafs set sights on levelling series

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

The Maple Leafs hunkered down for another practice session Wednesday in west-end Toronto, buoyed by their 4-2 victory over Boston in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Bruins. The win cut Boston's series lead to 2-1, and infused Buds players with the sense they could do more than just hang with one of the league's best squads - they could beat them, and tie the series with a win at Air Canada Centre Thursday night.
 

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs Bruins - 04/16/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins Monday at Air Canada Centre in Game Three of their first-round playoff series:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Leafs put in their best start of series, take first lead on van Riemsdyk's power play goal. Boston made the most of their two home games to start the first-round series against the Leafs, but in their first game in Toronto Monday, the Buds began the night focused and determined to change the dynamic. The Leafs outshot the Bruins 12-8 in the opening frame, drew the only penalty in the first 40 minutes, and scored on that man advantage when winger James van Riemsdyk batted the puck past goalie Tuukka Rask from close range with 2:55 left before the first intermission.

The goal gave Toronto their first lead of the series, got the ACC crowd in a frenzy, and built a bit of momentum into a power play that has struggled to generate offence in the first two games. That was as good a building block as any as the Buds aimed to rebound from sub-par efforts in Games 1 and 2.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Bruins - 04/14/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 7-3 defeat by the Boston Bruins Saturday at TD Garden in Game Two of their first-round playoff series:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

1. Pastrnak continues hot streak, gives Bruins game's first lead early in first. The Bruins dominated Game 1 against the Leafs, and they got on the scoreboard first Saturday when winger David Pastrnak netted his second goal of the series at 5:26 of the opening period. Pastrnak - part of Boston's top line with centre Patrice Bergeron and winger Brad Marchand - had three points in Game 1, and beating Buds goalie Frederik Andersen early in the first gave the home side even more confidence than they had heading into Game 2.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Bruins - 04/12/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Thursday at TD Garden in Game One of their first-round playoff series:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Bruins draw first blood on Marchand's power play goal. The Bruins were an energized group to start Game One, putting the Leafs on their heels early and drawing the first power play of the night at 5:04 of the first period. Twenty-four seconds into the man advantage, Boston took a 1-0 lead when winger Brad Marchand beat Buds goalie Frederik Andersen and gave the Bruins crowd reason to erupt in applause.

Clearly, Toronto didn't match Boston's intensity out of the gate, and the Leafs' penalty killers couldn't prevent the Bruins' big line - including winger David Pastrnak, who earned the secondary assist on Marchand's goal - from having an impact early on.

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Lengthy practice time builds anticipation for Leafs/Bruins showdown

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

The Maple Leafs got one final practice in Wednesday before heading out to Boston to play Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Bruins Thursday night. And the extended time prior to the first showdown between the Atlantic Division/Original Six rivals has only heightened the anticipation of what promises to be a memorable clash.

"Real good for preparation, real good," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday regarding the three days of practice. "We got a real hard workout in on Monday, did special teams (Tuesday) and then just tried to be as quick as we could here today. But we're dialled into their team no different than they're good on ours. We should be ready to go (in) Game One, but, as you know, in all playoff series, it's a battle and we've got to be prepared. We're excited and we look forward to it."

 

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Series preview: Leafs, Bruins promises to be close, emotional

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

The long and storied history between the Maple Leafs and Bruins adds an emotional element to their first-round playoff series, but make no mistake, this is an entirely new chapter. Toronto is bringing its most successful regular-season squad ever, while Boston has retooled much of the roster that led them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and a Cup Final appearance two years later.

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Leafs feeling confident heading into series with Bruins

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

With the Boston Bruins confirmed as their first-round playoff opponent, the Maple Leafs got to work at their practice facility Monday. And every member of the team - whether they played in Toronto's 2017 series against Washington or not - is focused on building on their regular-season successes and pushing even deeper into the post-season this time around.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Canadiens - 04/07/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Matthews opens scoring with PPG

MTL@TOR: Matthews buries terrific pass for PPG

William Nylander threads a beautiful pass to Auston Matthews, who fires a wrister past Carey Price on the power play for a 1-0 Maple Leafs lead

  • 01:10 •

1. Matthews extends points streak with power play goal to open scoring, overcome Toronto's lacklustre first frame. In their final regular-season game of the 2017-18 schedule, the Leafs did not outwork the Canadiens in the opening period, a fact reflected in Montreal's 10-6 shot advantage in the first 20 minutes of action. But, in a familiar pattern, Toronto's offence made the most of the chances it did receive - in particular, a late-period power play that centre Auston Matthews scored on to give his team the first lead of the night.

Matthews fired the puck past Habs goaltender Carey Price with 1:55 left before the first intermission after linemate William Nylander found him with a dazzling cross-ice pass that left a sizeable amount of open net to Price's right side. The goal was Matthews' 34th of the year, and it extended the sophomore NHLer's point streak to nine games - every game he's participated in since returning from injury March 22nd. And Nylander's assist gave him 61 points on the season, which is the same amount he posted in his first NHL campaign.

The chemistry between Matthews and Nylander has been apparent from the first time they played together, but with every game, week and month that passes, the duo (along with linemate Zach Hyman) seem to be better at sensing each other's instincts and capitalizing on them.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Devils - 04/05/18

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils Thursday at Prudential Center:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Nylander reaches 20-goal plateau for second straight season, puts Leafs ahead first. The Leafs were competing in their final road game of the regular season, and doing so against a Devils squad still seeking to secure a playoff berth for the first time in six seasons. So it was entirely understandable why New Jersey put pressure on Toronto from the first puck drop Thursday and outshot the Buds 14-9 in the opening period.

However, it was the Leafs who produced the first goal of the evening - a power play marker at 6:56 of the opening frame - thanks to forward William Nylander. The sophomore NHLer netted his 20th of the season after corralling a loose puck with his back to the left of Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, spinning around and firing it into the net for his second consecutive game with at least one goal and his sixth goal in his past 10 contests. The scoring play was the only one of the first, and showed the Leafs at their opportunistic best: they might not always dominate in the shots-on-net department, but their depth of talent helps take advantage of the chances they do generate.

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