The Boston Bruins will play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference Second Round.
Boston defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7 of that best-of-7 series on Tuesday. It is the second straight season the Bruins have eliminated the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston, which finished second in the Atlantic Division, will have home-ice advantage against Columbus, which was the second wild card from the Eastern Conference. Game 1 is at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS).
"I don't mind a quick turnaround necessarily when you're playing well," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Our last two games we have played well."
The Blue Jackets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 in Game 4 on April 16 for the first postseason series win in their history. They are the first team to sweep a Presidents' Trophy winner in the first round.
"This is kind of the toughest time waiting around," Columbus center Matt Duchene said last week. "You want to guard against being too laid back and relaxed because you do have quite a bit of time in between (games)."
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The Bruins went 2-1-0 against the Blue Jackets in the regular season, with the three games played in the final four weeks.
"The good news is we saw them three times late in the year," Cassidy said. "That will help with our preparation. Should help with the players."
Brad Marchand led Boston with seven points (four goals, three assists) in the three games, including the overtime goal in a 2-1 win March 16. Patrice Bergeron had five points (two goals, three assists). Tuukka Rask was 1-1-0 with a 4.76 goals-against average, allowing seven goals on 51 shots (.879 save percentage). Jaroslav Halak was 1-0-0 with a 1.27 GAA and .943 save percentage in two games.
Boone Jenner had a hat trick, and Josh Anderson and Zach Werenski each had four points (one goal, three assists) for Columbus in a 7-4 win March 12. Duchene scored three goals in the three games, including one in a 6-2 loss April 2. Sergei Bobrovsky was 1-1-0 with a 5.00 GAA and an .852 save percentage, allowing eight goals on 54 shots. Joonas Korpisalo was 0-0-1, allowing four goals on 38 shots in two games.
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"We got to watch a lot of their series because it was on other days as ours, but they're playing really well and probably one of the hottest teams in the League right now after taking down Tampa [Bay]," Boston forward Sean Kuraly said. "So I mean you can see from 5,000 fans at practice it's a heck of an atmosphere there and they're playing really well. They're going to be a really tough team."
Boston has never played Columbus in the playoffs.
"I'm thrilled for not only the people that have followed the team but also the people in the organization here too," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "Just remember, it's one round and we're thinking about other things as we go along here. But I know that's a burden that's been here, not winning a round in the organization."
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