Maple Leafs to face Bruins in first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak (88) and Toronto Maple Leafs' John Tavares (91) vie for the puck during the third period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Buckle up, because Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference is about to be quite the show.

After Tuesday’s results, all four series matchups in the East are now officially set, and with it comes some haunting memories for Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Because the Florida Panthers jumped the Boston Bruins to claim the Atlantic Division title, Toronto will now take on the Bruins in the first round.

It’s an Original 6 rivalry that has no shortage of storylines, including the epic collapse in Game 7 of the 2013 series when the Maple Leafs gave up a 4-1 lead with just five minutes to go.

The two teams also met in both 2018 and 2019, with the Bruins sending the Maple Leafs packing both times. The last time the Maple Leafs beat the Bruins in a playoff series was in 1959.

After winning a playoff series for the first time in 19 years last season, Toronto will now get a chance to exorcise its demons against the Bruins this season.

In another exciting matchup, the Panthers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the always entertaining battle of Florida. The two teams met back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022, with the Lightning winning both times.

The other two series in the east will see the Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Islanders, while the Washington Capitals will challenge the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers.

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