Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen rediscovering his game in playoffs


He also was studying the Maple Leafs while he was watching from the ninth floor. The Boston Bruins have allowed three or more goals in seven of their last nine games.

"I thought about going with Backes in Game 1, too", Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.

The Bruins actually scored the first goal of the game, but Marner answered on a rebound in the first period to tie things.

"We just wanted to stay above them", Marner said. Teams have changed, players have changed but the uniform crest hasn't, so we know what they're capable of. It is the exact same number they had previous to the game 1 performance. That comes with experience and playing with each other. "Last second I switched it up just seeing where he was and seeing his position".

Mitch Marner on Thursday scored on a penalty shot in the second period as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the mistake-prone Boston Bruins 4-1 in the opening game of their National Hockey League playoff series. "Years ago I remember (people saying about Wayne) Gretzky, 'Why doesn't anybody hit that guy?' Well, it's not that easy". It becomes containment issues. "We need to find an answer to him".

Instead, over time, the challenge that the Bruins present, which includes and won't be limited to their vast talent and often overwhelming physicality, the hostile environment they call home and the confidence borne out of previous successes, all seemed more manageable this time. Amusing what the playoffs bring out in players. But with a newfound confidence and maturity that seemed to often elude them in the regular season, the Maple Leafs are now in the driver's seat, and poised to rewrite a decades-long narrative.

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In Boston, the Bruins have to be better in Game 2 (8 p.m. ET, NBC) on Saturday after losing the series opener on home ice. Nothing has changed. A second straight loss will have an impact in the future odds. Both failed attempts came between the Marner and William Nylander goals ...

But for the Leafs to enjoy any success, they'll likely have to get the better of Boston's top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, who combined to torch Toronto for 30 points in the 2018 playoffs. It's their best player, in my estimation, (scoring) a goal. Tavares has eight goals and three assists over the last 10 games for Toronto. Interesting start for Muzzin, whose initial shift from the opening faceoff was one minute 21 seconds, when he was unable to get to the bench. "It was a good start, eh?"

"He's one of our special players", said Toronto defenceman Jake Muzzin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings.

As I mentioned yesterday, in order for the Leafs to get past the Bruins, Andersen needed to be the series MVP. "That's one way to get back into it".

Soon after, Rask thwarted a breakaway by Tavares. You could argue that Rask actually stopped the bleeding after the Nylander goal when the Bruins did anything but, as he came through with a breakaway stop 0n John Tavares and was saved by the bell in what looked to be the makings of a sure goal at the end of the second frame.