Not Boston: Leafs get Florida in second round of playoffs

May 1 2023, 1:53 am

The road to the Stanley Cup for the Toronto Maple Leafs will not head through Boston.

Despite posting the best regular season record of all-time, the Boston Bruins were upset in Game 7 by the Florida Panthers. That means Toronto will have home ice advantage in the second round, and their opponent will be Florida.

The Leafs, of course, will be competing in the second round for the first time in 19 years, after eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

The Panthers won 4-3 in overtime tonight in Boston, after tying the game in the final minute of the third period. It completed one of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history, in a series they once trailed 3-1.

No team qualified for the postseason with fewer points (92) than Florida, but the Panthers were Presidents’ Trophy winners one year ago after a 122-point season, so they’re not exactly a Cinderella team.

The Leafs fared well against the Panthers during the regular season, posting a 3-0-1 record in their four matchups.

Toronto’s top players feasted on the Panthers this season. Mitch Marner led the way with six points in four games against Florida, while Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and William Nylander scored five points each.

The best-of-seven series between the Maple Leafs and Panthers will begin in a matter of days, with Game 1 and Game 2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

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