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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Bruins keep perspective on series-opening win over Maple Leafs

NHL News: Bruins keep perspective on series-opening win over Maple Leafs

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While the Boston Bruins opened their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with a convincing 5-1 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs, coach Jim Montgomery knows that his club can show even more in Game 2 on Monday.

Jake DeBrusk scored two power-play goals in a 2:32 span after an earlier assist in the second period, leading the Bruins to their eighth consecutive win over Toronto between the regular season and playoffs combined.

The Bruins also showcased their depth with Johnny Beecher and Brandon Carlo netting the first two goals. Trent Frederic rounded out the scoring on an empty-net goal in the third period.

“They’re going to come harder than (Saturday) night,” Boston forward Jakub Lauko said of the Maple Leafs. “We just need to keep doing what we’re doing like we know and be even better.”

The mid-game, man-up success on Saturday busted the score open, but Montgomery is especially focused on his team limiting the opponent’s Grade-A chances and playing better at 5-on-5 as the series continues.

“I don’t think we were all that good at the net front (in Game 1),” Montgomery said. “(Jeremy) Swayman had to make a lot of second-chance saves, which we don’t like. What can we do better? We need to spend more time in the O-zone. We didn’t do a good job offensively 5-on-5.”

The major storyline on Boston’s side is who will start in goal.

Will Swayman make his second straight start following a 35-save effort, or will Linus Ullmark get the net in a continuation of a season-long rotation?

Montgomery did not tip his hand while acknowledging Swayman’s stellar effort in his first career start in Game 1 of a playoff series.

“It’s gonna be hard to go away from ‘Sway.’ He played a terrific game,” Montgomery said on Saturday. “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.”

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will look to quickly move past a less-than-inspiring Game 1 that was played without second-leading scorer William Nylander (undisclosed injury).

Nylander’s presence leaves a gaping hole of 40 goals and 98 points in the regular season out of the playoff lineup, but Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe knows that it wasn’t the only difference in the game.

“He is one guy we have not experienced playing without and we certainly missed him,” Keefe said. “He has nothing to do with us taking too many penalties or giving up a 2-on-1.”

Fourth-liner David Kampf scored the lone goal for Toronto, which was 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-5 killing penalties.

The likes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner were held off the scoresheet, as Matthews was unable to cash in on a potential game-tying opportunity with Swayman well out of his crease early in the second period.

“They’re a patient team and executed on the mistakes we made,” Matthews said of the Bruins. “We got a taste of what the series is all about. We have to elevate our game and get better.”

Keefe did not offer any day-off updates about Nylander’s status and whether Ilya Samsonov or Boston College product Joseph Woll would start in goal on Monday.

Samsonov made 19 saves on 23 shots in the series opener, which included allowing a goal on Boston’s first shot.

“I don’t put (Saturday’s loss) on (Samsonov),” Keefe said. “We only get one, so that’s not good enough to help any goalie win. … I would categorize each of their goals from his perspective as good goals.”

–Field Level Media

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