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COA News 2024

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DeBrusk and Swayman beat Bruins against Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 1

By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press on April 20, 2024.

Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk (74) scores against Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ilya Samsonov (35) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON – Jake DeBrusk had two goals and an assist as the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Saturday. John Beecher, Brandon Carlo and Trent Frederic also scored into an empty net for Boston, which got 35 saves from Jeremy Swayman. Brad Marchand and Charile McAvoy each had two assists for the Bruins, who won the season series 4-0-0 with the Leafs. David Kampf answered for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov stopped 19 shots. Leafs winger William Nylander was out with an undisclosed injury – the first game he has missed since November 2016 due to something other than illness. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series takes place Monday at TD Garden. Toronto won its first postseason series in 19 years last spring before falling to the Florida Panthers in the second round. Boston had a record-breaking 2022-2023 season, but fell victim to the Panthers opening the playoffs 12 months ago. Toronto and Boston will meet in the first round for the fourth time in the past 12 years. The Bruins won the three previous series – in 2013, 2018 and 2019 – in seven games. After the visitors registered their first four shots, Boston took a 1–0 lead at 2:26 of the opening period when Beecher scored his first career playoff goal on a 2-on-1 after Joel Edmundson cleared the offensive blue line pinched. Samsonov heard an iron symphony behind him as the period progressed as Charlie Coyle hit the post before both Charlie McAvoy and Pavel Zacha’s shots rang off the crossbar. Bruised Bruins forward Pat Maroon also nearly benched Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren in a pulsating TD Garden where Toronto winger Max Domi cross-checked Marchand before the opening faceoff. The Leafs couldn’t connect on a 4-on-3 power play to start the second and Calle Jarnkrok – back in the lineup after a long injury absence – was stopped moments later after a partial break. Toronto superstar Auston Matthews, who finished the regular season with 69 goals, beat Swayman shortly afterwards in a race for a loose puck, but sent his effort off the post. Carlo fired a shot past Samsonov as Leafs forward Pontus Holmberg screened his netminder at 5:47 for a 2-0 lead. Boston’s beleaguered power play — at least until Saturday — went to work next. DeBrusk broke his first of the night through another screen with Matthews eliminated for high-sticking at 3:02. Domi then took a cutting penalty and DeBrusk added his second off a Marchand feed for a 4-0 lead at 17:34. The winger nearly completed his first hat-trick of the short-handed play-offs in the final seconds of the period, but hit another post. They got a goal on the fourth line at 1:39 when Kampf beat Swayman. Leafs defenseman Simon Benoit hit the post shortly afterwards as Toronto finally pushed back. THE GAMEMANSHIP BEGINS Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe wouldn’t discuss Nylander’s injury status with reporters, while Bruins colleague Jim Montgomery didn’t reveal his starting goaltender until Swayman led Boston onto the ice for warmups. “One of the guys who wears pads,” Montgomery said Saturday morning when asked about his choice between Swayman or Linus Ullmark. BRODIE OUT TJ Brodie was a healthy scratch despite being second in minutes played by a Toronto defenseman this season. SEAKING IT Edmundson took some time to reflect on his Cup win with the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden in 2019 ahead of Saturday’s opener. “Great memories,” said the Toronto blueliner. “I went outside and took a moment to take it all in again. “I want to make more good memories in this arena.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2024. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on X. 32
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