The first time Phil Kessel touched the puck Wednesday, he heard the noise.

Over 17,000 fans at the Garden booed the former Bruin mercifully as he collected the puck right above the left faceoff circle. That was only 1:43 into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals and the night didn’t get any better for Kessel or the Toronto Maple Leafs, who lost, 4-1, to the Bruins.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old said it wasn’t hard to block it out.

“I think it’s pretty easy. You’ve just got to go out there and play your game,” Kessel said. “(I’ve) been doing it for a long time now. So do the little things that you do good and like I said, hopefully things turn.”

His performance, however, suggests otherwise. Had the crowd at the Garden not booed every time he touched the puck, Kessel would’ve been easy to miss. The right winger failed to take a shot on net in the first two periods. His only shot came 2:16 into the third and was a 47-foot wrist shot saved by Tuukka Rask. As Rask stopped the puck with his glove, more boos rained down.

At 6:01 of the second period, Kessel collided with Bruins defender Dennis Seidenberg and slid into the Bruins net. Fans promptly chanted, “Kes-sel. Kes-sel.” The same chant was heard at 6:42 of the third when there was a break in the action.

The “Kes-sel” chants got even louder five minutes later. This time, a frustrated Kessel was in a post-whistle scrum with Zdeno Chara in front of the Bruins net.

Since being traded from the Bruins to Toronto in 2009, the Garden hasn’t been a friendly place for Kessel. Though all eyes are on him in this series, he insists it’s not weighing on him.