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NHL - US Sports: Leafs "unflappable" in game one victory

Coach Sheldon Keefe said the Toronto Maple Leafs were "unflappable" as they convincingly beat reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning in game one of the Eastern Conference First Round.

The Leafs, 7/1 to win the Stanley Cup, began the best-of-seven series at home after finishing the regular season five points ahead of the Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division (54-21-7).

Matthews leads the way for Leafs

The NHL's top goal-scorer Auston Matthews scored twice and had an assist, including a goal on a 5-on-3 powerplay, which had seen coach Keefe call a time-out to prepare a play just 11 seconds earlier.

Mitch Marner scored his first goal in 19 play-off games and netminder Jack Campbell made 24 saves to shut-out the Lightning who are aiming to win the Stanley Cup for a third straight season.

The Leafs also went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill including denying the Lightning on a full five-minute major to Kyle Clifford.

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Before the series 41-year-old Keefe welcomed the challenge of Tampa believing, "the harder, the better" for a Leafs team who have not made the second-round of the play-offs since 2004.

Keefe making a big mark

Keefe is in a third season with Toronto and this season led the Leafs to a franchise record for wins (54) and points (115), while several players also recorded personal career bests, including Matthews, who scored 60 - the most ever in a single season by a Leaf.

Keefe said to the media: "Our team seemed to be unflappable tonight. All the way through, our team was extremely focused and went out and executed, so it was a good night for us, but it was one night."

Game two of the series is in Toronto on Wednesday.

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