Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post
Thursday evening was far from the way the Toronto Maple Leafs drew it up, as the Boston Bruins smothered them 5-1.
Boston was propelled by five different goal scorers in the victory, with 21-year-old David Pastrnak leading the way, tallying a goal and two assists.
Brad Marchand, David Backes, Sean Kuraly, and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins in the onslaught.
The game opened up with a relentless surge in the first 10 minutes from the Bruins, something the Maple Leafs failed to match and contain.
The crowd energy in TD Garden was intensily hostile and fierce, which many of these young Leafs have yet to experience before.
Boston got on the scoresheet within the first six minutes of play, after a light hooking penalty from James Van Riemsdyk.
It appeared the play may have been offside, but coach Babcock chose to not challenge the call on the ice.
Toronto was able to respond before the conclusion of the frame on a beauty of a goal from winger Zach Hyman (1), giving the Leafs plenty of hope, and a productive road period.
The goal proved to be a momentum boost for the team, as the Leafs controlled the play for the majority of the second period, but failed to capitalize on numerous chances.
This would come back to haunt them, as the tides would turn after another hooking call, this time seeing veteran Leaf winger Patrick Marleau penalized.
With their first push of sustained pressure in the period Boston was able to capitalize on the power play, and from that moment on controlled the entirety of the game.
Stars such as Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner failed to have a great impact, as Boston’s veterans were able to shut them down through their physical play.
The game was far from competitive in the final period, with some controversial plays taking form in the final 15 minutes of regulation from both teams.
The most contentious came with 11:46 to play in the game after Bruins forward Tommy Wingels appeared to catch Leafs forward Mitch Marner with a high elbow in the face.
Toronto centre Nazem Kadri took matters into his own hands and stapled Wingels into the boards.
The Maple Leafs are expecting Kadri to be suspended for the immediate future (at least one game) as he did not take part in practice Friday morning.
A conclusion from the NHL player safety department should be reached sometime on Friday.
Toronto will have to reset quickly, as Game 2 is less than 48 hours away.
Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00pm from TD Garden and can be viewed on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
More coverage to follow. Image from CBC.