Jake DeBrusk powers Bruins past Leafs in Game 1

League: NHL

Posted on: 21 Apr, 2024 at 03:58 AM

Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Jake DeBrusk logged a three-point game to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series on Saturday.

DeBrusk factored into all three of Boston's second-period goals, scoring twice in 2:32 after assisting Brandon Carlo.

John Beecher, who was making his playoff debut, and Trent Frederic also scored, while Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy each had two assists for Boston, which won all four head-to-head meetings between the teams in the regular season.

Jeremy Swayman finished with 35 saves, stopping all 24 shots he faced over the first two periods.

"I really liked our team discipline. I liked the execution," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. "I liked the emotion we played with. And I thought the physicality of our group was very evident.

"Swayman hadn't had the opportunity to start a series before in the past couple of years. We wanted to see him start a series and see how he handled it, and I thought he did really well."

David Kampf scored the lone goal and Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves on 23 shots for Toronto.

Toronto had a 36-24 shot advantage but went scoreless in three power plays while Boston went 2-for-5.

"I can think of a couple things," said Toronto star Auston Matthews of what his team could have done better. "Obviously, just too many penalties. When you give a team like that opportunities on the man advantage, that many, they're gonna capitalize. I thought it started out (as) a pretty good game, and then (we made) little mistakes. They're a very patient team and they executed on the mistakes that we made."

Shortly after Swayman made his second of two key early stops on a Nicholas Robertson point-blank rebound, Beecher buried Jesper Boqvist's two-on-one pass to the left circle at 2:26 of the first period.

Boston could have extended its lead if Charlie McAvoy and Pavel Zacha hadn't hit posts within a 2:05 span in the first period.

The Bruins began their second-period scoring onslaught at 5:47 as Carlo buried a drive from the top of the right circle off DeBrusk's feed.

"I think we did a good job paying attention to the little details tonight," Carlo said. "There were times when they had little pushes, but overall, we didn't get overzealous with anything. I'm happy with how we controlled most of that game."

DeBrusk scored on the last two of Boston's three power plays in the middle frame to increase the lead to 4-0, including a snapshot from the right circle at 15:02.

The third goal on Boston's nine second-period shots occurred when DeBrusk redirected Marchand's centering pass off Samsonov and over the goal line.

The Maple Leafs broke the shutout quickly in the third. At 1:39, Kampf glided down the slot and buried Connor Dewar's slick backhand feed.

Frederic's empty-net goal with 2:08 left sealed the win.

Toronto forward William Nylander (undisclosed) was out of the lineup.

--Field Level Media