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Bruins and Jeremy Swayman win Game 1 against Toronto 5-1

Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) celebrates his prison sentence with Brad Marchand, center, and Morgan Geekie during Saturday’s NHL playoff game. The Bruins won 5-1. (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

If Bruins coach Jim Montgomery was really thinking about going with a straight goalie rotation for the playoffs, as he has all season, Jeremy Swayman made a pretty good argument against it Saturday night at the Garden.

In Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Swayman (35 saves) was outstanding, especially early, and the B’s ran away from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5–1 victory.

Montgomery’s scoring decision for Game 2 will be interesting. Not only was Swayman great on Saturday, he is now 4-0 against the Leafs this season.

The B’s got a pair of power play goals from Jake DeBrusk after rookie John Beecher and defenseman Brandon Carlo gave the B’s a 2-0 lead.

Much like the last regular season game between the teams, it looked like the Leafs (who were missing William Nylander by 40 goals due to an undisclosed injury) wanted to flex their muscles, but all they did was take a couple of tough penalties that cost them a lot of money.

The B’s were skittish in the opening moments of the game, turning the puck over to their own end on the first few shifts. But Swayman sharply deflected all four shots, including at least one high-danger opportunity.

But it didn’t take long for the B’s to find their feet and take their first lead of the game. Pat Maroon occupied two Leafs along the left wing wall in the Boston zone, allowing Jesper Boqvist to break out a 2-on-1 battle with Beecher. From his outside wing, Boqvist made a perfectly timed pass to Beecher, who beat Ilya Samsonov to the other side and ignited the already stormed Garden crowd at 2:26.

Then the B’s flew and Maroon showed why he was interested in the B’s at the trade deadline. Along with the helper on the first goal, he scored three goals in the first period, including one that sent Timothy Liljegren to the Bruins’ bench.

The B’s had opportunities to take control of the game when they got the first two power plays of the game. Although neither man’s advantage was dominant, Charlie Coyle hit a post on the first and Pavel Zacha struck iron on the second.

The Leafs seemed to weather the storm and at the end of the period the B’s carelessness with the puck once again came to the fore. Morgan Geekie couldn’t get a puck out of the zone when he could have. That first led to equal penalties for Charlie McAvoy and Max Domi in a net-front scrum. As the period clock ran, Hampus Lindholm took a cross-checking penalty on Mitch Marner.

That gave the Leafs a 1:50 4-on-3 power play with the B’s top two defensemen in the box to start the second period.

But thanks to some more strong saves from Swayman, the B’s were able to put an end to that. And while Swayman was very good up to that point, he was pretty lucky then. First, Calle Jarnkrok’s shot from the right wing broke through him and dribbled wide. Swayman then ran back into the net to stop Tyler Bertuzzi’s poor corner follow-up.

Then McAvoy went down in an ice battle in the middle with Auston Matthews, with the puck sliding in front of both of them. Swayman came far out to play the puck, but Matthews beat him to it and with an empty net he hit the outside of the post.

At 5:47 the B’s finally got their second goal. After a pile-up behind the net, DeBrusk came out with the puck and fed a wide-open Brandon Carlo. During the Coyle screening, Carlo shot a slapper who beat Samsonov to the blocker side.

Later in the period, Matthews took the Leafs’ third high-sticking penalty, and the second in the offensive zone. And after failing to even get set up in the offensive zone in the first minute, DeBrusk ultimately made the Leafs pay. With Geekie at the top of the crease, DeBrusk broke a sharp wrister that beat Samsonov for a 3-0 lead at 15:02.

The Leafs weren’t done taking bad penalties. Domi cut off Brad Marchand during a face-off and was fouled. With five seconds left in the PP, Marchand then fed DeBrusk at the top of the crease and, with one knee on the ice and choking on his stick, DeBrusk scored his second of the game with 2:26 left in the period.

Early in the third period, the B’s started kicking the puck around again and this time it ultimately cost them. The Leafs’ fourth line grinded away until a loose puck squirted to David Kampf in the slot and, with Swayman down, buried him.

But they played better as the period progressed and, after killing a late penalty, which they did, Trent Frederic buried an empty-netter.

Boston Bruins left wing Pat Maroon dumps Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren to the bench during Boston's 5-1 victory Saturday in Game 1 of the playoffs.  (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
Boston Bruins left wing Pat Maroon dumps Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren to the bench during Boston’s 5-1 victory Saturday in Game 1 of the playoffs. (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) and center Charlie Coyle (13) mingle with Toronto Maple Leafs center Max Domi.  (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) and center Charlie Coyle (13) mingle with Toronto Maple Leafs center Max Domi. (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)