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BOSTON -- It was easy to say, heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, that there was nothing to history. That the teams’ past -- and there is a lot of past there -- meant nothing, didn’t translate, wouldn’t apply.

These weren’t the Bruins of old. These weren’t the Maple Leafs of old.

And yet, once again, the script remained the same. The Bruins seemed to answer every question they had heading into the series, about their goaltending choice, about their sputtering power play, about their depth contributions, about how well they could contain the NHL’s second-best offense in the regular season.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, only created more questions. 

By the end, it was a 5-1 win for the Bruins, a dominant victory for the home team at TD Garden on Saturday. It was the Bruins’ fifth straight win this season against the Maple Leafs, one bound to create confidence for Boston and consternation for Toronto.

And yet, after it, the Bruins were far from claiming victory, or at least any more than the one win they achieved Saturday. They acknowledged they had played a good game, excellent even, that the decisions made had been the right ones, that their discipline was crucial and their fourth line punched above its weight.

Any more than that?

“It’s one game. It doesn’t mean anything,” Bruins captain Brad Marchand said. 

But for some, it meant everything. 

After the game, Jeremy Swayman was still having trouble wiping the smile off his face, the smile that had been plastered there since he took the ice for warmups, since he stood and basked in the national anthems. Up until that moment, it had been a question: Would the Bruins go with Swayman or with Linus Ullmark, the goalies having split the regular season nearly in half with almost identical statistics?

Now, the answer was clear. They had gone to Swayman because, as coach Jim Montgomery said, “We felt that Swayman hadn’t had the opportunity to start a series before in the last couple of years and we want to see him start a series, see how he’d handle it.”

And Swayman delivered, making 35 saves, many of them scintillating. It was everything he had been anticipating, working for, his entire life. He was ready.

“Dream come true,” he said, still unable to stop smiling after the game. “It’s such a privilege to play in this league and for this city. Taking that first lap and hearing the fans and seeing the towels is an emotional feeling. You just understand how hard it is to get here and what a great opportunity it was. I couldn’t wipe that smile off my face the whole night. 

“Pretty spectacular.”

Which easily could have been the way his night was described. 

After the game, Montgomery wasn’t willing to commit to a goalie for Game 2 of the best-of-7 series, set for Monday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, NESN, SN, TVAS, CBC), but he did admit that Swayman may have made his job more difficult -- or easier. 

“It’s going to be hard to go away from ‘Sway,’” Montgomery said, after Swayman’s sole blemish came only after the Bruins had scored four of their own, on a goal by David Kampf at 1:39 of the third. “He played a terrific game. 

“But, like we said, if we decide to go with Ullmark, we’re comfortable with it. And our team’s comfortable with it. It doesn’t affect us in the room whoever starts next game.”

R1, Gm1: Maple Leafs @ Bruins Recap

Ultimately, nearly everything worked for the Bruins. Their first goal was scored on their first shot of the night, by rookie John Beecher in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game, 2:26 into the first period. The next came on a one-timer from Brandon Carlo, giving goals to two players who had combined to score just 11 in the regular season.

The third and fourth came on the power play from Jake DeBrusk, a player whose self-described “pretty disappointing” season has nearly been erased in the wake of a three-point start (two goals, one assist) to this playoff run.

Even the moments that could have been devastating turned in the Bruins’ fashion, like the 1:50 of 4-on-3 to open the second period that Boston managed to kill while up 1-0. Like when Swayman came out of his crease to challenge Auston Matthews, opening up the net, only to see Matthews hit the post at 4:30 of the second period, followed closely by the Carlo goal at 5:47.

It almost all went their way.

At the same time, it was one game. One win. It answered some questions, raised some more, none more important than the one posed by Montgomery in speaking about Beecher’s night: “The challenge, not only for him, but for our entire group is, can we do it again?”

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