TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander scored twice and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 Friday night in a regular-season finale with both teams resting most of their stars.
“We have 82 games on the books,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Now we can play for real.”
The Maple Leafs have assured that they will face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, while the Bruins are scheduled to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Back-to-back champions, one of the best teams in the league,” Nylander said of the Lightning. “It will be a tough series, but it will be a good battle for us.”
Toronto finished 54-21-7 for 115 points, 10 more than the previous franchise record set in 2017-18.
Ilya Mikheyev, Nick Abruzzese, with his first NHL goal, and Pierre Engvall, in an empty net, also scored for Toronto. Erik Kallgren made 24 saves.
Trent Frederic and Jake DeBrusk scored for Boston (51-26-5). Jeremy Swayman stopped 22 shots.
Having already secured the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division, the Maple Leafs left Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares up front, while No. 1 goaltender Jack Campbell served as a backup. The Bruins were minus Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall and Charlie McAvoy.
Boston, playing the second in a straight streak, still had a chance to nab Tampa Bay for third in the division coming into play, but instead finished as the 1st seed in the Conference. East.
“You want to play every game you can,” Bruins center Charlie Coyle said. “No matter the night, who you’re playing against, you want to be in the lineup and have an impact.”