BOSTON -- The Bruins allowed a goal in the opening minutes of Wednesday night's Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they came back to out-shoot Toronto 40-20 and score four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 win to open the first-round playoff series at the TD Garden.
Boston took a 4-1 lead into the third period after two second-period goals from David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk.
Krejci gave there B's a 3-1 lead midway through the second after he swooped in on a loose puck in the slot and quickly turned with a snap shot five-hole. The play was essentially created by Krejci, who received a pass down the left wing from Andrew Ference and took it down into the left circle. Krejci then dropped it back to the high slot to Nathan Horton, but it was broken up. Three Toronto players couldn't gain possession of it, and Krejci picked up the loose puck and fired it past James Reimer.
Boychuk made it 4-1 Bruins with 4:16 left in the second, as he stepped over the blue line, received a pass from Krejci at the right point, and let a slap shot rip top-right.
Boston took a 2-1 lead into the second period, thanks to a Horton tip-in with 11.7 seconds left in the first period, and seven seconds left on a Bruins power play.
The goal was reviewed to see if Horton had a high stick as he batted down a Wade Redden snap shot from the top of the right circle, but the replay clearly showed that that was not the case, and Horton scored his first goal since April 8.
Redden had answered Toronto's only goal of the game by putting a shot past Reimer with 3:40 left in the first period. Redden's shot came from the top of the left circle, and somehow snuck in between Remier's glove and his left pad to tie the game at 1-1.
James Van Riemsdyk gave Toronto an early lead with a power-play goal 1:54 into the game, but that was all the Maple Leafs would get in Game 1, which ended in a Chris Kelly vs. Leo Komarov fight after the final horn.
TALKING POINTS, from Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty
GOLD STAR: David Krejci reminded everybody exactly how good he can be in the postseason with a throwback performance that was par for the course two years ago during Boston’s Stanley Cup run. People sometimes forget that Krejci led the NHL in goals scored and points when the Bruins won the Cup, and has long been considered a playoff performer. He had three points (1 goal, 2 assists) while playing a major role in three of the four goals scored by the Bruins in their victory, and finished with more ice time than all but Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference on the Bruins roster. His slick passes to the Bruins defensemen, Wade Redden and Johnny Boychuk, allowed each of them to step into slap shots that created key offense for the Black and Gold.
BLACK EYE: Former UMass defenseman Michael Kostka was playing in his first Stanley Cup playoff game with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s one he’d probably just as soon forget about. He finished a team-worst minus-3 on the night and was continually hemmed into the zone by the Bruins fore-check, including more than a minute in the second period when the B’s fourth line pounded and cycled with the puck before creating David Krejci’s insurance goal while camped in front of the net. By that point an exhausted pairing of Kostka and Mark Fraser could do nothing to challenge the attacking trio of Bruins players. The fact that he played 22:22 doesn’t bode very well for the Toronto defensemen corps.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins have given up a lot of momentum swinging goals lately in the final seconds of periods, but this time the B’s were the ones stealing the thunder from another team. Boston wouldn’t relent and kept right on pounding after tying things up in the first period after allowing an early power play goal. That tenacity turned into production when James van Riemsdyk hit the post at one end of the ice, and the Bruins carried the puck down to the other end and cashed in on a perfectly high tip from Nathan Horton off a Wade Redden shot. The goal put Boston up 2-1 with only 12 seconds remaining in the period, and pulled the rug out from under the Maple Leafs.
HONORABLE MENTION: Wade Redden didn’t play much in the first few weeks after arriving in a trade with the St. Louis Blues, but he impressed the Bruins coaching staff with his veteran poise and offensive upside once he did begin to get into games. Redden scored a big goal from the edge of the left face-off circle that showed the first hint that James Reimer was fighting the puck, and then set up Boston’s second goal when Horton tipped a one-timer he stepped into from the high slot. Redden finished with two points, a plus-1 and three shots on net in 16:57 of ice time for the Bruins in his first playoff game since spending two seasons in AHL due to ridiculous salary cap wrinkle in the old CBA.
BY THE NUMBERS: 50 – the number of points (21 goals, 29 assists) for David Krejci in 60 career Stanley Cup playoff games in a pretty clear indicator of just how clutch he’s been in the postseason during his career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We have one in the back. We just flipped it over.” -- Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, when jokingly asked if the Bruins flipped the switch prior to Game 1.