BOS TOR matchup story 41624

The Boston Bruins will play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins (47-20-15), who will finish second in the Atlantic Division, will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-7 series. The Maple Leafs (46-25-10) will finish third.

The playoffs begin Saturday.

Boston and Toronto played four times in the regular season, with the Bruins winning all four. The Bruins won 3-2 in a shootout on Nov. 2, 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 2, 4-1 on March 4 and 4-1 on March 7.

"Obviously, it will be a real challenge, but it will be real special being Original Six, and it has a real history to it," Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said. "Great opportunity for us. It’s a test and we have to be prepared."

This season, the Bruins have been led by forwards David Pastrnak (110 points; 47 goals, 63 assists), Brad Marchand (67 points; 29 goals, 38 assists) and Charlie Coyle (60 points; 25 goals, 35 assists). Charlie McAvoy leads their defensemen with 47 points (12 goals, 35 assists).

Jeremy Swayman is 25-10-8 with a 2.53 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and three shutouts in 44 games (43 starts). Linus Ullmark is 22-10-7 with a 2.57 GAA, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in 40 games (39 starts).

Against Toronto, Boston was led by Pastrnak with seven points (two goals, five assists). Jake DeBrusk had six points (two goals, four assists), Marchand had five points (one goal, four assists), and Pavel Zacha had four points (three goals, one assist).

Swayman was 3-0-0 against Toronto, with a 1.30 GAA and .959 save percentage in three starts; Ullmark made 37 saves in his only start, the 4-3 overtime win on Dec. 2.

The Maple Leafs have been led this season by forwards Auston Matthews, who has 107 points and leads the NHL with 69 goals, William Nylander (97 points; 40 goals, 57 assists), Mitch Marner (85 points; 26 goals, 59 assists), and John Tavares (64 points; 28 goals, 36 assists). Morgan Rielly leads their defensemen with 58 points (seven goals, 51 assists).

"Regardless of who we played, it was going to be competitive and we’re excited for it," Marner said. "We have one more game. We need to get ready by cleaning up some stuff and then we will shift our focus."

Ilya Samsonov is 23-7-8 with a 3.13 GAA, .890 save percentage and three shutouts in 40 starts, Joseph Woll is 12-11-1 with a 2.94 GAA and .907 save percentage in 25 games (23 starts), and Martin Jones is 11-7-1 with a 2.70 GAA, .907 save percentage and two shutouts in 21 games (18 starts).

Against the Bruins, Toronto was led by Matthews with four points (three goals, one assist) and Marner with three points (two goals, one assist). Tavares (one goal, one assist), Nylander (two assists) and Calle Jarnkrok (two assists) each had two points. Woll went 0-2-1 against the Bruins, with a 3.97 GAA and .865 save percentage in three games. Samsonov allowed two goals on 40 shots in his only appearance, the 3-2 shootout loss on Nov. 2.

The Bruins and Maple Leafs have played 16 times in the playoffs, with each team winning eight of them; Boston has won each of the past six meetings. The teams last faced each other in 2019, with the Bruins winning the first-round series in seven games and later advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

Last season, Boston won the Presidents' Trophy, but lost to the Florida Panthers in seven games in the first round; Toronto defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the first round, its first series win since 2004, before losing to the Panthers in five games in the second round.

The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 13 times, most recently in 1967. The Bruins have won the Cup six times, with the last time coming in 2011. independent correspondent George Richards contributed to this report.