Bruins clinch series with 5-1 win over Maple Leafs

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[April 24, 2019]  Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom each had a goal and an assist, and the Boston Bruins defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Tuesday night in the seventh and deciding game of their first-round playoff series.

Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, and goaltender Tuukka Rask made 32 saves. Coyle and Bergeron scored into an empty net.

The Bruins will next play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Blue Jackets swept the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.

It was the second consecutive year that Boston beat Toronto in the seventh game of a first-round playoff series.

John Tavares scored for the Maple Leafs and goalie Frederik Andersen made 27 saves.

The Bruins scored twice in the first period to take control of the game early, though both goalies were tested early in the game. Andersen thwarted a wrap-around attempt by David Pastrnak, while Rask alertly covered Mitch Marner's shot on his own rebound.

Nordstrom scored at 14:29 of the first period when he shot from a sharp angle to the right of the goal and the puck squeezed between Andersen and the goalpost. The sequence started when the Bruins intercepted the Maple Leafs' attempted long outlet pass. Matt Grzelcyk and Kuraly earned the assists.

Johansson put Boston ahead 2-0 at 17:46 of the first after Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner lost the puck behind the net. Johansson whirled to the front and shot from the right circle.

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Bruins left wing Marcus Johansson (90) shoots the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (29) defends during the first period in game seven of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto led 12-11 in shots on goal after the first period.

Tavares cut the lead to 2-1 at 3:54 of the second with a quick release from the right circle after Tyler Ennis won the puck at the boards.

The Maple Leafs failed to take advantage of the first power play of the game when Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo was called for cross checking at 8:22, though Toronto held a 25-19 edge in shots after two periods.

Kuraly restored Boston's two-goal margin at 2:40 of the third period when he split the defense and shot from the left circle.

Toronto was again unsuccessful on the power play when Boston was called for too many men on the ice at 5:19 of the third.

Coyle scored into an empty net at 17:26 of the third. Bergeron added another empty-net goal at 19:59.

--Field Level Media

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