Mitch Marner scored two goals -- one on a short-handed penalty shot in the second period -- and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs went on to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 Thursday night in the opener of a best-of-seven, first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. William Nylander and John Tavares (into an empty net) also scored for the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, who won a first-round series over the Maple Leafs in seven games last season.
Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen made 37 saves and frustrated the Bruins on several occasions. Tuukka Rask stopped 29 shots for Boston. After tying the game late in the first, Marner was tripped by Jake DeBrusk on a short-handed breakaway early in the second to earn a penalty shot. Marner deked Rask easily for what proved to be the game-winner at 2:47 of the second period.
Capitals 4, Hurricanes 2 Nicklas Backstrom scored two of Washington's three first-period goals, and the Capitals held off a late Carolina rally for a victory in Game 1 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Backstrom had multiple goals for the third time in his playoff career, coming just over three minutes apart in that opening period. Alex Ovechkin also scored in the first period, and John Carlson notched a hat trick of assists, getting helpers on all three first-period goals. That tied the NHL record for most assists in a period of a playoff game. 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. Svechnikov (19 years, 16 days) became the youngest player with multiple goals in a playoff game since 1997.
Flames 4, Avalanche 0 Mike Smith stopped all 26 shots he faced to earn the shutout, and Matthew Tkachuk scored twice as host Calgary beat Colorado in the first game of their opening-round Western Conference playoff series.
Smith was undoubtedly the star while posting his fourth career playoff shutout and adding an assist in the process. His teammates rewarded him with more than enough offense. Andrew Mangiapane broke the deadlock late in the second period for his first playoff goal, and Mikael Backlund also found the net. Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves in the loss.
--Field Level Media
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