Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 13, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The setting of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent postseason nightmares has been the beautiful city of Boston, but the visitors could go a long way toward exorcising those demons on Saturday when they play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Bruins. The Maple Leafs answered a pair of demoralizing Game 7 losses in Boston with an emphatic 4-1 win in the series opener on Thursday.
“We’re a different team. We’ve got a little more confidence in this room and we’re ready to play with it,” said Mitch Marner, who scored twice to help Toronto secure its first series-opening victory since 2003. The 21-year-old Toronto area native capped his first multi-goal postseason performance by converting a penalty shot late in the second period on Thursday, giving him 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight playoff games versus Boston. Marner’s second tally changed the momentum of the contest for both clubs, as the Bruins saw their bid to regain the lead with a power-play opportunity go by the boards shortly after Jake DeBrusk dragged down the speedy Maple Leafs forward.
“When you get a power play, you want to get something good out of it and get some momentum. Obviously, that did the opposite. … That can’t happen,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored with the man advantage for Boston’s lone goal.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVAS
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS: John Tavares collected a goal and an assist on Thursday to boost his playoff point total to 24 (12 goals, 12 assists) in 25 career games. Fellow forward William Nylander also scored in Game 1, giving him goals in back-to-back contests after tallying just once in his previous 18. Defenseman Jake Muzzin notched the primary assist on Marner’s first-period goal, lifting his point total to 21 (seven goals, 14 assists) in 51 career playoff games and 17 (five goals, 12 assists) in 31 contests with the Maple Leafs since being acquired in a trade with Los Angeles on Jan. 28.
ABOUT THE BRUINS: DeBrusk, who crashed hard into the boards following his exchange with Marner, was not at practice Friday morning and could be in line to sit out Game 2. “Jake was given a maintenance day (and I) assume he’ll be back with us tomorrow morning,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Right now, I anticipate he’ll play. If not, (David) Backes will go in.” Boston did see the returns to practice of forward Sean Kuraly and defenseman John Moore, with the former skating with a stick for the first time since breaking his hand on March 21 while the latter has been sidelined since March 25 with an upper-body injury.
1. Boston D Torey Krug, who set up Bergeron’s first-period goal, has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last five games versus Toronto.
2. Maple Leafs C Patrick Marleau, who had an assist on Nylander’s second-period goal, is expected to skate in his 186th NHL postseason game on Saturday to move past Hall of Famer Denis Potvin for 27th place in NHL history.
3. Bergeron won 16 of 27 faceoffs in Game 1.