When the Toronto Maple Leafs broke through to clinch their first playoff spot since 2012-13 last year, the rest of the NHL paid special attention to their first-round showdown with the Washington Capitals, eager to measure the progress made by Auston. Matthews, Mitch Marner and the other budding stars at the Toronto reconstruction center. Washington took that series in six games, but the six were decided by one goal (five needed extra time) and was defined by both parties exchanging haymakers while the impulse oscillated violently from one side to another. In summary, it was a fun trip for the Leafs fans who recognized that this level of competitiveness was at least a year earlier than anticipated.
If Game 1 in Boston sets the tone for the rest of the series, this year's playoffs are going to be considerably less fun in Toronto. The Boston Bruins punished the Leafs after the teams sat on even terms for a period, getting two quick counts in the final five minutes of the second and achieving a 5-1 victory that showed the relentless and complete play that made Boston in an opponent few teams wanted to catch early in the group.
Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a deft backhand, but the three goals that put the game out of reach can be attributed to the hardness of the Boston forwards in difficult areas. David Backes beat Toronto defender Ron Hainsey for a 50-50 puck to tie the eventual winner; then, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron put a drive possession clinic under the goal line to place a pass from David Pastrnak; then, Pastrnak's kamikaze net cleared the way for Sean Kuraly to connect the fourth count of the Bruins with an oscillating touch.
The defeat left the Leafs seeking their composure and possibly looking for a replacement for Game 2 for striker Nazem Kadri, who got a bad behavior in the game when he charged Tommy Wingels in the third with a result that is no longer in doubt in 4-1 with 11:42 to be played. And yes, that scoring line has a great importance in the recent history of this rivalry, but the Bruins had eliminated all doubts before David Krejci capitalized with a final goal in the power play.
BOS leads the series 1-0 | Box Score | Complete Recapitulation
Blue Jackets 4, Capitals 3 (OT)
The Washington Capitals became the first team to lose at home this postseason and in the process received a painful reminder of how tough their opponents will be in the first round to put away. The Columbus Blue Jackets lost 2-0 after the first period, but were matched with a pair of tips from Alexander Wennberg and Thomas Vanek. Devante Smith-Pelly seemed to regain momentum by depositing a perfect pass from Jakub Vrana, but with just over five minutes to play Andre Burakovsky made a strong lack of attack below his blue offensive line, and less than a minute later Seth Jones hit Philipp Grubauer with a walk-in wrister to force extra time
Artemi Panarin's work for the winner of the game: he beat defender Dmitry Orlov at breakneck speed and tucked the disc in the upper corner over the shoulder of Grubauer at 6:02 of the extra session, has won Columbus for the first time in the history of the franchise. (But the victory was not without a price: Wennberg left the game after receiving a big blow, and both Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno paid high prices for the blocked shots). Alex Prewitt broke the resistance of the Blue Jackets.  CBJ leads the series 1-0 | Box Score | Complete recap
Lightning 5, Devils 2
The front line of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point set the tone for the first seeded Eastern Conference, representing the first three goals for Tampa Bay Lightning to put the New Jersey Demons in an insurmountable hole. As he did during his regular Hart Trophy season, Taylor Hall dragged the Devils into contention, taking advantage of a Lightning trade for New Jersey's first goal and feeding Travis Zajac for the second, but Alex Killorn landed a wrist shot in the transition to kill the return offer.
TBL leads the series 1-0 | Box Score | Complete recap
Predators 5, Avalanche 2
The winners of the Presidents Trophy got a small scare from a fast and fearless Avalanche team that led after a period, but they moved away in the third thanks to two opposing goals against Filip Forsberg: a greasy redirect to the front, a striking hangs to blow the last defender before beating goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier. If the round-trip notation in the middle box (and the chant that followed when things got out of control) is an indication, Colorado has no intention of retreating from popular opinion that it is the weakest team in the game. countryside.
NSH leads the series 1-0 | Box Score | Full overview
Sharks 3, ducks 0
Martin Jones won the second playoff shutout in 2018 in two nights, when the San Jose Sharks quickly ruined the ice advantage of the Anaheim ducks after dropping second. in the Pacific to its rival state on the last day of the season. Playing in his first postseason game after being sent from Buffalo to San Jose on the trade deadline, Evander Kane made the ducks pay by leaving him unmarked in the slot to open the score in the second period, then slipped home another goal less than seven minutes later.
SJS leads the series 1-0 | Box Score | Summary
The highlights of the night
The spring weather has been slow to reach New England, but Brad Marchand did not want to miss a moment of the love season, taking advantage of his first opportunity to rekindle his cozy relationship with his counterpart Leo Komarov.
How was Marchand explained after the game?
1. Artemi Panarin, CBJ – You scored the first OT winner of the playoffs in the highlight-reel mode, you get the first star. This is how this works. After a quiet performance in Chicago's quick start in the first round last spring, the Blue Jackets' top scorer did not shrink from the moment.
2. Ondrej Palat, TB – Palat's three-point night (one goal, two assists) made the Demons on his own.
3. Evander Kane, SJS – Not bad for rent: Kane now has 11 goals in 18 games as a shark. He helped to remove the goal from the goal after San Jose missed some opportunities in the first 25 minutes.
With a data set, it's safe to conclude that the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing once again to maintain. Of all the statements made in the first two days of the playoff campaign, none was louder than Pittsburgh's 7-0 loss to Philadelphia. How will the Flyers respond after their rivals within the state hit them in Game 1? If the captain of Philadelphia, Claude Giroux, gathers those occasional individual performances that hit him in the world, it is an opportune moment to play that letter.
That electric advantage at home finally paid off to the Winnipeg Jets, as they ensured the franchise's first playoff victory in nine attempts. The Minnesota Wild must find a way to contain the brilliance of Patrik Laine to mere flashes, or the Bruce Boudreau group will be in a bulging 2-0.
The Los Angeles Kings seemed lost in the neon signs on their first night in Las Vegas, as the Golden Knights dictated the pace for virtually all 60 minutes, but could only beat Jonathan Quick once. This is not the first time that Los Angeles has needed a game or two to start offensively around the time of the playoffs, but the margin of error has now faded. Who will allow a goal first in these playoffs: Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury?