Original Six Members Clash Again in NHL Playoffs
Thursday night the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins will open their best-of-seven playoff series at TD Garden. This series will add yet another chapter to a long history of playoff battles between Toronto and Boston. The Maple Leafs look to prevent history from repeating itself in their Eastern Conference first-round series. Toronto lost in seven games to their Original Six rivals in a spirited first-round set in 2018. That is five years removed from a demoralizing Game 7 loss in which they squandered a three-goal lead in the third period
The Atlantic Division foes were heading in opposite directions during the last two weeks of the season. The Bruins going 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, and the Leafs limping to the finish line by losing 7 of their last 10 games.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS, CBC, Sportsnet (Toronto), NESN (Boston) LINE: Bruins -136; O/U: 6 Under -105.
Just one season ago, the Boston Bruins entered the playoffs as the second seed in the East. They ousted the Leafs in seven games. They’ll hope to repeat that tonight on home ice. The Bruins are excited to have their talented winger, David Pastrnak, back to health to face the Leafs. Pastrnak has an incredible 24 points in 18 career playoff games. He will be key to the Bruins’ success in Round 1. On the Leafs side, they’ll be looking to shake the hex that the Bruins have over them in the playoffs. They’ll need their offensive stars, particularly John Tavares and Auston Matthews, to perform if they hope to advance
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Boston won three of the four encounters against Toronto this season. They enter the playoffs on a 22-7-4 run. That run is highlighted by a 19-game point streak (15-0-4) from Jan. 29-March 9. It that allowed the Bruins to pull away from the Maple Leafs in the standings. Toronto’s key offseason acquisition, John Tavares, posted career-best totals in goals (47) and points (88). He had just one and two, respectively, in the season series against Boston. Auston Matthews recorded just two in last year’s playoff series.
Toronto‘s Frederik Andersen will be under the microscope in the hockey hotbed that is Toronto. All eyes will be watching as he recorded a 3.76 goals-against average and .896 save percentage in last year’s playoff series. The Dane posted uneven performances in a pair of meetings in 2018-19. He turned aside 38 shots in a 4-2 win on Nov. 26th, then got shredded for a season high-tying amount of goals in a 6-3 setback on Dec. 8th. Garret Sparks returned to practice on Wednesday and likely will serve in a backup role with Michael Hutchinson and his wife expecting a baby. C Mitch Marner collected four of his 68 assists, and five of his 94 points, against Boston.
Boston‘s top line has been golden all season. Brad Marchand has a team-leading 64 assists and 100 points, David Pastrnak has a club-best 38 goals and has 81 points, while Patrice Bergeron had a career-high 79 points. The trio enjoyed stellar seasons and are no strangers to lighting up the scoreboard against Toronto. The group combined for 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in last year’s seven-game series. Marchand had seven assists, and Pastrnak chipped in six goals and three assists. That duo played significant roles in the four meetings in 2018-19. David Krejci matched his career high with 73 points. He ended up with multi-point performances coming in four of his last five games.
Dart Throw: Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 2
Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Odds & Trends
|Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Toronto is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Toronto is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 5 games|
|Toronto is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games on the road|
|Toronto is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 6 games on the road|
|Toronto is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston|
|Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston|
|Toronto is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Boston|
|Toronto is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Boston|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston|
|Boston is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games|
|Boston is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 7 of Boston’s last 9 games|
|Boston is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games at home|
|Boston is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games at home|
|Boston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Toronto|
|Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Toronto|
|Boston is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Toronto|
|Boston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Toronto|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston’s last 5 games when playing at home against Toronto|
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