Maple Leafs vs Bruins 2019 NHL Playoffs Spread & Game 2 Preview

Written by on April 12, 2019

Arguably the marquee matchup of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs is this Original Six matchup between the Maple Leafs and Bruins. They play Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference series in Boston on Saturday with the Bruins favored on the NHL Lines to even things up 1-1.

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Why Bet on Toronto?

The Leafs were 4-1 upset winners in Game 1 on Thursday. Toronto won Game 1 of a playoff series that began on the road for the first time since claiming the opener in Philadelphia during the 2003 Conference Quarterfinals. They have accomplished the feat in Boston once before, in Game 1 of the 1949 Semifinals en route to winning the club’s eighth Stanley Cup.

Mitch Marner scored two goals to lead Toronto. Marner didn’t waste Toronto’s first great chance of the game, smashing a puck into an open net to tie things up with just over three minutes left in the opening period. The Bruins then went to a power play to start the second, but Marner took advantage of a mistake to get a breakaway and earned a penalty shot after being taken down by Jake DeBrusk.

The 21-year-old Marner then put on a beautiful move to give Toronto the lead on his penalty shot opportunity, joining Mats Sundin as the only two players in franchise history to score on a penalty shot in the postseason. He is also just the fifth NHL player to score a shorthanded penalty-shot goal in the playoffs. It hadn’t happened since Detroit’s Daniel Cleary in 2007.

John Tavares scored a goal and added an assist. With the Maple Leafs holding a 3-1 lead late and a neutral zone faceoff, Tavares lost the draw but beat a Bruin to a loose puck and flick it into the empty net from center ice. It’s Tavares’ first postseason appearance since the 2015-16 season. He’s now up to 12 goals and 24 points in 25 career games in the playoffs.

William Nylander had the other goal. Patrick Marleau did some great work behind Toronto’s net to get the puck to Nazem Kadri who sent a perfect cross-ice feed to Nylander who beat Tuukka Rask five-hole to give the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead. Nylander came into the game with two goals in his last 19 regular-season games.

Frederik Andersen allowed one goal on 38 shots. He was only beat by a great no-look feed by Brad Marchand to Patrice Bergeron on a Bruins power play to open the scoring midway through the opening period.

Why Bet on Boston?

Despite boasting one of the NHL’s most dominant power plays, Boston surrendered a league-leading 15 shorthanded goals. And in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night, that weakness came back to haunt them once more on Mitch Marner’s crushing short-handed penalty shot goal to make it 2-1 in Boston’s 4-1 loss.

Jake DeBrusk was the one charging back to try to disrupt Marner’s shorthanded breakaway and he paid the price. The winger crashed back first into the end boards after tripping up Marner and was slow to get up. DeBrusk briefly went to the dressing room, before returning to the ice, but looked to be in some discomfort thereafter.

The Bruins have given up six postseason penalty shots all-time, just two of them successful. The last attempt was by Philadelphia’s Ville Leino in 2010. The Bruins outshot Toronto 21-14 in the second period, but gave up two goals and scored none.

Maple Leafs vs Bruins is going to be a close one.

Patrice Bergeron scored the lone goal for Boston. The Bruins got the first power play of the game, with Brad Marchand feeding Bergeron with a great no-look feed for the easy goal into a wide-open cage. Bergeron finished the regular season with a career-high 79 points in just 65 games.

Future Hall of Fame defenseman Zdeno Chara did not have a good game for the Bruins. Often looking slow and ineffective, Chara only recorded two hits on the night. His physical style has been essential to Boston’s playoff success in the past. “We talked a lot about taking care of the blue lines and you know, playing playoff hockey, and a lot of that wasn’t done tonight. [There were] too many turnovers,” said Bergeron. “When that happens, you don’t really establish your fore-check or get any rhythm out of it.”

Tuukka Rask allowed three goals on 32 shots in the loss. The 32-year-old netminder had a rough go-around last postseason and won’t have a long leash with Jaroslav Halak coming off a great regular season behind him.

Maple Leafs vs Bruins 2019 NHL Playoffs Betting Trends

  • Home team is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings
  • Over is 4-1-2 in the last 7 meetings in Boston
  • Maple Leafs are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings
  • Maple Leafs are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Boston

Expert Final Score Prediction for Maple Leafs vs Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 – Boston Bruins 4

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