Bruins officially will take on Maple Leafs in first round of NHL playoffs

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The Boston Bruins now officially know who they'll be playing in the first round of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.  While it had long been assumed that the Bruins would end up playing the Toronto Maple Leafs, things weren't official until Monday night.

By virtue of the Maple Leafs' victory over the New York Islanders, Toronto has clinched a playoff berth and will be, at the least, in third place in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins are locked into second or third place in the division as well, and that means that the two will face off to open the playoffs.

This will be the second consecutive year that the Bruins and the Maple Leafs meet in the first round. Last year, the Bruins knocked off their Original Six rivals in a seven-game series.

The Bruins have a 3-1 record against the Maple Leafs this year. Jaroslav Halak started three games with a 2-1-0 record while Tuukka Rask won his lone outing against them.

Now, the only thing that needs to be determined is which team will hold home-ice advantage. Right now, the Bruins are ahead of the Leafs in the standings by four points. Each team has three games to play.

The Bruins will have their first chance to get closer to home-ice advantage on Tuesday night when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road. Boston has lost three of their last four games.

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