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Toronto Maple Leafs game recap: It was 4-1, then 5-1, then....

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The Maple Leafs should probably not take so many penalties in game two....

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game One Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The puck is dropped at the Toronto Dominion Garden after one of the absolute worst anthems I have ever heard.

The Boston Bruins controlled play early on in the game, keeping the Leafs penned into their zone until the Leafs were finally able to dump it past the red line and get a change. The Maple Leafs go the first five minutes without a shot, and five minutes into the game James van Riemsdyk gets called for interference. It doesn’t take long for the Bruins to capitalize as Brad Marchand goes back hand forehand to put the puck past Andersen.

There was discussion post goal if Patrice Bergeron was offside but he was able to keep his toe just barely onside.

Two minutes later David Krejci gets called for tripping Nazem Kadri at the Bruins net giving the Maple Leafs their first power play of the game at 14:02 and hopefully their first shot on net as well.

The Leafs get some good chances on the powerplay including a mad scramble around the Bruins net that sees Tuukka Rask rolling around like Dominik Hasek, but the Bruins are always able to get the puck out of their end, and the Leafs will go 0/1 on the power play.

Tyler Bozak and Charlie McAvoy get into a shoving match behind the Bruins net which leads to a line vs line scrum and players going down to the ice as we head into a TV time out. Nothing would come of it penalty wise however.

The Maple Leafs and Bruins skate back and forth from zone to zone and highlights include a Jake Gardiner slapshot off the post:

Frederik Andersen making some great saves on the Bruins. As the clock ticks under the five minute mark, Zach Hyman chases down an icing and is able to skate across the crease and pop the puck past Rask to tie up the game.

After the goal Nazem Kadri leaves the ice cradling his hand, appearing to be in pain, but stays on the bench.

In the first period the Maple Leafs looked like a team who hasn’t played a lot of hard games lately, missing passes, not being able to keep the puck in the offensive zone, reaching for passes as well, but as the game goes on the Leafs start to pick up their play.

Highlights:

  • Zach Hyman’s goal
  • Connor Brown constantly trying to chase down the icings, and succeeding.
  • The game mattering.

Lowlights:

  • Brad Marchand’s goal
  • Leo Komarov on the powerplay, I mean, why
  • The Bruins existence

A minute into the second period Tyler Bozak comes close to putting the Leafs up 2-1 but is stopped by Rask. Following the face off Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is given two minutes for slashing Zach Hyman’s goal scoring hands.

The Maple Leafs powerplay in the second period is playing much better than the shifts in the first. Leo Komarov gets an uncalled high stick so the PP units swap out and the much more productive second unit takes the ice, with Kadri who’s back playing. Changing the PP units doesn’t do much, as the Leafs go 0/2.

The Maple Leafs get another chance five minutes later as Danton Heinen slashes the stick out of William Nylanders hands behind the play. The Leafs spent most of the PP in the Bruins end, but a couple nice chances were all they would get. 0/3 so far.

The Maple Leafs were getting back into their groove in the second period. More possession, more time in the offensive zone, the Bruins weren’t the focus of anything aside from the referees whistles.

In the Bruins end Mitch Marner send the puck gliding behind Rask and across the crease, but it teases us and heads for the boards. Tuuka Rask has been the Bruins savior tonight as the game wears on. The Leafs are getting more and more chances past the Bruins skaters and only Rask is keeping the game tied.

Rick Nash and Jake Gardiner get into it after Kadri and Nash collide knee on knee and Jake high sticks him in the face. While everyone is distracted by this, Patrick Marleau gets called with a hooking penalty to give the Bruins their second power play.

On the power play there’s a scramble in front of the Leafs net, and Andersen goes down and David Backes gets the loose puck and flips the puck up and over a prone Freddie to take the lead for the Bruins.

The period ends with more pressure from the Bruins on the Leafs net, but Andersen keeps the Bruins lead from growing. As the clock ticks down to end the second period, David Pastrnak scores to put the Bruins up 3-1 with a shot from the point.

The period ends soon after.

Highlights

  • JVR’s lost mouth-guard
  • The power play dominates

Lowlights

  • Leo’s lost sick in the defensive zone
  • Scoreless power play
  • Brad Marchand
  • Two goals against

The Maple Leafs need to slow down and make sure everyone is in position before making passes around the net in the third period. Changing up the PK defenders could help as well as Hainsey has been out for all three goals against.

The third begins with the Maple Leafs down two goals and facing the Bruins coming hard into their zone. After two minutes of play the Leafs get caught with too many men on the ice and the Bruins will get another penalty, and the Leafs penalty kill will get a chance at redemption.

The Leafs keep the Bruins from scoring on the power play, and we inch close to 15 minutes left in the game with the Leafs down 3-1. Nazem Kadri goes down for boarding Tommy Wingels in a soft call against the Leafs. The Bruins get their fourth power play of the game.

Midway through the power play Kasperi Kapanen blocks a shot and goes down to the ice, but is able to limp off under his own power. Kadri gets out of the box but the Bruins continue to control play until the puck is cleared and the special teams can give way to the regular lines.

Pastrnak breaks away and shoots at Andersen who knocks the puck up and out of the way ans Shawn Kuraly scores his first ever NHL playoff goal by batting the puck into the net out of the air and over Freddie.

Nazem Kadri and Tommy Wingels get together again, and Wingels goes down hard for the seconc time this period. He’s slower getting up after this hit, when Kadri skated in and put Wingels through the boards after he hits Mitch Marner in the head with his shoulder. The play was as Wingels was on his knees so the hit was more butt to head than anything else.

Bloo bloo bloo Chowdah.

Kadri is given a five minute major for charging and is ejected from the game for the hit with a ten minute misconduct. The Bruins are not penalized for the hit to Marner, which, fine, whatever.

The Bruins .500 power play will now have five minutes to try and expand the Bruins lead to Penguins/Flyers levels of pain. The Bruins three goal lead takes some of the pressure off the power play so the Bruins treat this as a passing exercise, until David Krejci scores to make it 5-1.

The power play finally ends with just over six minutes left in the third period and the camera shows Curtis McElhinney who looks like he does not want to get into this game.

The Bruins put the puck in the net after the whistles blows and nice try guys.

Honestly, I stopped paying attention after it went up 5-1. I’m a bad recapper, email me your bank account #’s and I’ll send out a refund.

Highlights:

  • They Leafs found their way out of the dressing room?
  • Pastrnak getting hit by a Bruins shot
  • It ended

Lowlights:

  • Phantom boarding call on Kadri
  • Real charging call on Kadri
  • Kadri being ejected
  • Stupid Bruins goals

Tonight was just one game, and there’s plenty for the Maple Leafs to learn from, most importantly: stay out of the damn box. The Bruins went 3/5 on the power play, something that can’t continue. Picking your lines in situations is another item to add to the lessons list, like the 4th out in the defensive zone with a minute left. Maybe not?

Ending on a positive note, when the Leafs had the man advantage it was a miracle they didn’t score. Even strength things weren’t awful either. It’s that damn penalty kill and the stupid plays (charging, too many men) that gave the Bruins power play the chances.

The next game is Saturday night at 8PM. Hopefully we see the regular season play from the top two lines, fewer penalties, and more goals against the guys in black.