Bruins vs. Leafs: Five X-factors that could play pivotal role in series outcome


The showdown between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs is one of the most-anticipated series in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Bruins have dominated this rivalry in recent seasons, winning two thrilling Game 7s in 2013 and 2018. Home ice was critical to both of those Bruins victories, and it's an advantage they again hold entering this season's matchup.

The Leafs have not won a playoff series since the 2003-04 campaign, and they own the longest Stanley Cup drought at 50 seasons. That said, this is Toronto's best team in a long, long time. The Leafs are underdogs in this series, but no one should be surprised if they avenge last season's heartbreak and send the Bruins on an early summer vacation.

With Game 1 scheduled for Thursday night at TD Garden, let's take a look at five x-factors that should play a pivotal role in the outcome of the series.

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