The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs got underway Wednesday night. With five games played on opening night, just three were played Thursday – two Eastern Conference games and one Western.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
Mitch Marner scored twice to help the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round.
Marner became just the fifth NHL player to score a shorthanded penalty shot goal in the playoffs, and the second (Mats Sundin) in Maple Leafs history to score a penalty-shot goal in the shootouts.
William Nylander and John Tavares also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 37 saves for Toronto, who lost three of four to the Bruins during the regular season.
The Leafs went a goal down, but scored four unanswered goals for the comeback victory.
Patrice Bergeron scored and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for Boston, who defeated Toronto in seven games in the first round last season.
Leafs v Bruins – Saturday, April 13 (8pm – NBC)
Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals, as the Washington Capitals began their bid to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions with a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series.
Alex Ovechkin and Lars Eller (emptynetter) also scored, John Carlson tied an NHL playoff record for most assists in a period with three, and Braden Holtby made 27 saves for Washington.
Andrei Svechnikov became just the second teen in franchise history to score a playoff goal for the Canes. The Russian scored both goals for the visitors, meaning he now has the second most goals by a Russian rookie since 2007/08. Artemi Panarin (30) is the only Russian to score more in his first season during that time.
Lucas Wallmark had the primary assist on both Carolina goals, and Petr Mrazek made 14 saves.
Canes v Caps – Saturday, April 13 (3pm – NBC)
Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames
We have our first shut out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Mike Smith had an amazing night for the Calgary Flames, shutting out the Colorado Avalanche in a 4-0 victory.
Smith made 26 saves for the hosts to become the first goalie in Flames history to earn a shutout in a series-opening game.
Matthew Tkachuk had two goals, with Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund also scoring for Calgary.
Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves for the Avalanche, who won eight of their final 11 regular season games.
It was the first playoff win for the Flames since a 4-3 overtime victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round in May 2015. The hosts are also 10-12 in the series as the higher seed and have lost their last six such series dating back to the 1990 Smythe Division Semifinals against the L.A. Kings.
Avalanche v Flames – Saturday, April 13 (10:30pm – NBCSN)