Boston Bruins fall to Toronto Maple Leafs in first-round opener

Marner has 2 goals, including penalty shot, Leafs top Bruins

Marner has 2 goals, including penalty shot, Leafs top Bruins

For all the value of postseason experience, youth is off to a nice start in the Stanley Cup playoffs. During his breakaway attempt, he was upended, though, and awarded a penalty shot. The importance of discipline is magnified in the playoffs, and Nylander learned that the hard way when Bergeron snuck through the back door to take a pass from Brad Marchand to score with Nylander in the box.

"You're going to let in a goal, you've got to focus on what's coming next", he said.

Svechnikov became the youngest player in 22 years to score twice in a playoff game and the third teen to put up two goals in National Hockey League postseason history after Pierre Turgeon in 1988, Eddie Olczyk in 1985 and Don Gallinger in 1943.

Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored twice in a span of 2:19 in the third period to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Lars Eller put it away with an empty-net goal in the final minute. Go enjoy it. Go have fun.

"Yeah, I mean, they played a little more physical then I think they normally do, but you've got to expect that come playoff time. He's collected. He made the saves when we needed them, kept us in the game when they scored the first goal and we kept going with it".

I'm pretty sure I didn't take the Washington Capitals to take the Cup previous year, but I did take them to win the first two rounds, including a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "What he is doing is just incredible". Their best player in my estimation scores a goal, plenty of time to come back. He's such an asset.

"Listen, you want your goalie to stop everything", said Cassidy.

Frederik Andersen made 37 saves and William Nylander also scored on a breakaway for Toronto, which swiped the home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series as it tries to advance through Boston for the first time in six tries.

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If Mitch Marner's coolness was emblematic of a more composed, unbothered and resolute foil to the Boston Bruins, and not an exception as he turned out to be last spring, then it seems the Toronto Maple Leafs may now have the mettle. "Years ago I remember (Wayne) Gretzky: "Why doesn't anybody hit that guy?' Well, it's not that easy, right?" "Second part of it, I think it's reactionary".

"It's good for me", Nylander said.

The Leafs' dominance on the dot was also evident, with Tavares and Auston Matthews combining to win 26 of 43 puck drops in Game 1, including Tavares' key faceoff win that directly led to Marner's first-period goal to tie the game. And with Jake Debrusk's status for Game 2 still up in the air after the 27-goal scorer suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 1, the burden gets even heavier for Boston's top line.

"Now all of those guys have got their first game out of the way, they should get some confidence", coach Bill Peters said.

The best part about making playoff predictions is you don't really care if you get any of them wrong, unless it's your own team. Amusing what the playoffs bring out in players.

Nicklas Backstrom scored two of Washington's three first-period goals as the Capitals held off a late Carolina rally for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Hurricanes in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

"He was a rock back there for us", defenceman Jake Muzzin said.

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