Bruins blast Maple Leafs in violent Game 2

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The Boston Bruins got mean against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 2, and now their Round 1 series is even 1-1. Now we’ll just need to wait and find out who will actually be able to suit up for Games 3 and beyond.

Boston really stormed out of the gate, generating a 2-0 lead in the first period and adding another goal in the second, while dominating the shot clock 29-16 through the first 40 minutes. Ultimately, the Bruins won 4-1, so things are now tied up as the scene shifts to Toronto.

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These two historical (and contemporary) rivals don’t like each other, and that really showed in this one. Jake Muzzin was bloodied by a hard David Pastrnak hit, and then delivered a thunderous check of his own on Torey Krug. Krug did not return to Game 2, so it’s fair to wonder if he’ll miss some time.

[A collection of the second period’s nasty, physical moments.]

But the most controversial moments of violence revolved around Nazem Kadri, and his actions might force him to miss some time, too.

During the second period, Kadri was shaken up by a knee-to-knee collision with Jake DeBrusk. Kadri was able to return in the third period, and actually scored Toronto’s only goal, but was ejected after an ugly, high hit on DeBrusk. Kadri was suspended three games during last year’s Round 1 series; will he involuntarily take a seat again?

[More on the Kadri situation here.]

We’ll have to wait and see, and the same goes for Krug, and possibly other players who might have gotten roughed up in a very rough Game 2. It’s possible that Connor Clifton and DeBrusk may also be at risk of missing time following this nasty contest.

(In case you’re wondering, the officiating was also criticized heavily on Saturday, especially by Maple Leafs fans.)

With the Maple Leafs taking Game 1 by a score of 4-1, this fascinating series hasn’t featured nail-biting, overtime action yet, but we’ve already received a look at how explosive each team can be — and also the high level of snarl between Boston and Toronto. If the Bruins carry this effort over to Game 3, the Maple Leafs are going to be in tough, but it feels like things could go either way … and likely back and forth.

It might not be easy to forecast, and at times it sure looks like it won’t be easy on the bodies of players on either team, yet it sure seems like this Round 1 clash will be as exciting and contentious as expected. Now we just need to get some closer games.

Maple Leafs – Bruins Game 3 from Scotiabank Arena takes place Monday night at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN (Live stream)

More: Series preview

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.