November 10, 2017 - Air Canada Centre: Leafs 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
The first match-up of the year between these two teams was a good one. It was a tightly contested affair, tied at 1-1 until late in the third period.
Look at some of the names in that Bruins lineup: Jordan Szwarz! Matt Beleskey! Anders Bjork!
The Bruins appeared to be in good shape late in this one, but they were doomed by something they need to watch out for in this series: James van Riemsdyk at the top of the crease.
JVR makes most of his living right there near the paint, and his tip-in with a minute left sent the game to OT. Patrick Marleau ended it in the extra frame on nearly the exact same play.
This was one of those early-season, pull-your-hair-out games played by these Bruins. The two points were in hand...and then they weren’t.
The Leafs played this game without Auston Matthews. The Bruins didn’t have any significant injuries.
November 11, 2017 - TD Garden: Leafs 4, Bruins 1
This one was closer than the final score would have you believe.
In the first, Mitch Marner scored walking down the slot after a brutal Brandon Carlo turnover. JVR — remember him? — scored from the top of the crease on the PP.
Frank Vatrano cut the lead in half late in the first, and the Bruins actually got decent pressure on the Leafs net in the second and third.
An extended 5v3 power play came up empty for the Bruins five minutes into the third, and Tuukka Rask was beaten by a Brandon Carlo screen just two minutes later to kill any Boston momentum.
The Leafs would add an empty-netter to seal it.
The Leafs played this game without Auston Matthews, while the Bruins played without Jake DeBrusk.
February 3, 2018 - TD Garden: Bruins 4, Leafs 1
This one was played at the Garden the night before the Super Bowl (let’s not talk about that), and the Bruins brought a Patriots-esque approach to the game.
Patrice Bergeron pounced on an Auston Matthews turnover to give the Bruins the lead five minutes in, but the Leafs got a PPG a few minutes later when the puck went in off Charlie McAvoy’s skate.
That would be all Tuukka Rask would allow, as he went on to finish with 23 saves to extend his point streak to 20 games. His biggest save came on a sprawling effort on the PP in the second, with the game still tied 1-1.
The Bruins opened things up with two PPG’s before Tim Schaller iced it with an empty-netter.
The loss to the Bruins was the first of Frederik Andersen’s NHL career.
The Bruins were without Brad Marchand and Kevan Miller; the Leafs were without Josh Leivo and Matt Martin.
February 24, 2018 - Air Canada Centre: Leafs 4, Bruins 3
This game was, frankly, garbage.
Not the game itself, I guess, but the ending. This was the goalie interference game.
Like the season’s first meeting, this one was a back-and-forth affair. The Bruins were up 1-0, down 2-1 and up 3-2 before Nazem Kadri’s PPG with under a minute left in the second tied things up.
The third was great hockey, and it ended on a terrible call.
Charlie McAvoy was pushed into Tuukka Rask, who was then beaten by a Ron Hainsey toss on net with a minute and a half left in the third.
The Bruins challenged the play, lost the challenge and lost the game. I’m still not really over this one, in case you couldn’t tell.
The Bruins were without Adam McQuaid; the Leafs were without Auston Matthews.