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Leafs vs. Bruins playoff series starts Wednesday

Boston Bruins' Daniel Paille looks for a shot against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer and teammate Nazem Kadri during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Mar. 25, 2013. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Winslow Townson

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins hit the ice Wednesday night in Beantown, for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final.

The Leafs are entering the playoff series as the underdogs. The team has only won seven of its 22 games with the Bruins, while Boston went on to win the Stanley Cup back in 2011.

According to the website oddsharks.com, the odds of the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup are 20 to 1.

The spotlight will be on Leafs forward Phil Kessel — who the Leafs acquired from Boston in 2009. He said he won’t be phased by the Beantown crowd.

“I had great years there; I love the city. The fans were great to me there, and it’s part of the game,” he said.

In the Toronto Sun, Leafs legend Doug Gilmour wrote that it’s statement time for Kessel, whose play has to make the Bruins regret ever trading him.

“So this is just the life of a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player. We’re asking them to focus on what they can control,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.

The last time the Leafs actually beat the Bruins in a playoff series was in the spring of 1959.

Meanwhile, the entire City of Toronto is rallying behind the blue-and-white as the team returns to playoff action for the first time since 2004.

Mayor Rob Ford has proclaimed May 6, the day of the first Leafs home playoff game, to be Blue and White Day. He is encouraging all Torontonians to dress in the official colours of the Maple Leafs on that day to show their support.

That shouldn’t be a difficult request as Leafs hats and jerseys will be the uniform of choice around the city, as fans watch the game in their local bars, at home, or at the Air Canada during the home games.

Boston hosts Toronto in the first two games of the playoffs.

There will be lots of activity in and around the ACC during the playoff series, especially during the home games. Police said extra officers will be out due to the large crowd expected downtown.

Leafs vs. Bruins playoff schedule:

Game 1: Wed May 1
Toronto at Boston, 7 p.m.

Game 2: Sat May 4
Toronto at Boston, 7 p.m.

Game 3: Mon May 6
Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Game 4: Wed May 8
Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m. BROADCAST ON 680News

* Game 5: Fri May 10
Toronto at Boston, 7 p.m.

* Game 6: Sun May 12
Boston at Toronto, time TBA

* Game 7: Mon May 13
Toronto at Boston, time TBA

* if necessary

You can hear the exclusive play-by-play radio broadcast of game 4 on May 8 at 7 p.m. During the broadcast of the playoff game, 680News regular programming including news, traffic and weather can be heard online at 680News.com.

With files from CityNews.ca staff