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4 takeaways from the Bruins' Game 1 win over the Lightning

29 April 2018
4 takeaways from the Bruins' Game 1 win over the Lightning

We're disappointed in the way [the season] ended.

A single point separated the Atlantic Division rivals in the standings after the race for the top seed in Eastern Conference came down to the final night of the regular season, and there's every reason to believe this best-of-seven matchup will be just as tight.

Even though the top line garners most of the laurels - and attention from opponents - the Bruins have some terrific scoring depth in their lineup. The match gets going at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 28, and it will be showcased live on NBC. Someone texted me, I texted him back and said, 'I'll find out in the morning. "I was hoping I wasn't going to like him", Cooper added. "That's how I started today". The bleeding Toronto defenceman missed the rest of the period, but returned for the second. Probably 23 other guys on the team were the same. "I think we handled it well".

Any team would've been ecstatic to add a player with nearly 450 goals and more than 800 career points to a lineup that already was challenging for the Presidents' Trophy. "He was sitting right there and we don't seem to".

Despite having their season end at the same stage, the Leafs will see a number of positives as they head into summer. "Our relationship is fine", said Matthews. "There's times where you don't really have very much of an opportunity and then you do and score".

"Everybody wants to be in that spot ... but it's still a pinch-me moment".

Steven Stamkos is an incredible center who scored 27 goals and had 59 assists.

While that doesn't qualify as being benched, it was a curious decision in such an important game for Toronto.

Overall the Bruins match up well with the Lightning. Is there stuff we can build off this game? "But nothing that hindered me from playing and feeling as good as you can. Body obviously isn't 100 per cent".

From Rick Nash and Tuukka Rask setting the tone to another stellar outing from the first line, the Black and Gold established one of their better 60-minute efforts of the postseason with a 6-2 win at Amalie Arena Saturday afternoon. From the first injury he suffered back in early November, Babcock didn't think Matthews was ever quite the same. Or took the blades off their skates, I should say.

"To be honest, what I have seen of him, what goes on out on the ice, he's a competitive you know what and I love that". We knew they were going to come out hard and we capitalized on our chances.

Tougher still for Toronto has been to put the loss behind them and look ahead to next season.

"In a ideal world, everyone would like as many goals as they can ... but I understand (how playoffs usually work)", he said.

Rask won three of four starts against the Lightning during the regular season, with Tampa Bay's lone victory coming in the final meeting.

"It's fun. We're having fun", Bergeron said. "This year we wanted to take a step forward and that didn't happen".

"Of course they would, but then you trade Rask there and you become Philly and don't have a goalie forever", he said.

"I messed up on that", Tyler Johnson said.

"I was just going to the net and goalies are so good now you have to take their eyes away, you have to get traffic", Nash said. "I wasn't sure if he should have thrown that skate blade, and I was like, 'No, don't do it, '" Patrice Bergeron said about the weird sequence.

But Rask, who finished the period with some more stellar saves, refused to let it derail his game.