Bruins oust Leafs from playoffs in Game 7 showdown

Bruins oust Leafs from playoffs in Game 7 showdown

Bruins oust Leafs from playoffs in Game 7 showdown

Excitement, nervousness, hopefulness, anger, joy.

The Leafs were no slouches with a 105-point season and a 4-3 lead over Boston at the second intermission of Game 7. All of those emotions were certainly felt during a wild Game 7 at TD Garden Wednesday night.

In '13, the Maple Leafs won two straight and then opened a 4-1 lead in the third period of Game 7, but Boston scored a pair of goals 31 seconds apart in the final 2 minutes of regulation before winning in overtime.

There was also one period to go five years ago in Boston when Toronto led 2-1 through 40 minutes of Game 7 and 4-1 midway through the third period only to make National Hockey League history as the first team to blow a three-goal cushion in that situation before losing in overtime.

Sure the Bruins' veteran core led by Patrice Bergeron, Krejci, Chara and David Backes was going to bring its best performance of the series, and it did.

So do the Bruins, who have struggled to put away Toronto for the second consecutive time.

Jake DeBrusk watched the tiebreaking goal go into the net from ice level, sliding into the boards on his backside after he was flattened by Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner. After Kasperi Kapanen put Toronto ahead 4-3 with a short-handed goal in the second, Torey Krug tied it, DeBrusk gave Boston the lead with 14:35 to play.

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And then there's Charlie McAvoy, who was clearly still trying to find his game during this series after getting just four regular season games to shake off the rest of his knee-injury absence. And they needed it to save their season. "We stuck with it that's what we've been doing all year". It was only one goal; we didn't have to cheat to win.

"At the end of the day, [Rask] found his game, and like I said, we picked each other up, and off we went". "And luckily - again - it went our way". And his moments crept up so inconspicuously that maybe even the 21-year-old Edmonton boy himself was rattled. And Game 7 was a final exam to see how much character and poise the rookies could show with their backs against the wall. Boston broke the tie at the 5:25 mark when Jake DeBrusk took off and Gardiner turned at the wrong time, and only hit DeBrusk after he had already released the puck.

If the Leafs didn't have stronger language for DeBrusk's first goal, they definitely did for his game-winner. "I'll never forget this series just in general".

BOSTON-Jake Gardiner looked like he wouldn't sleep for a long time, like his stomach would feel hollow and bottomless through some long summer nights.

"I'm not really commenting on anything". It was so back and forth; the intensity from the crowd & the emotion was a lot of fun.

Both teams had early powerplay goals, and the period got even crazier. Complaining about Auston Matthews?

Bruins third-line left wing Danton Heinen was a healthy scratch in Game 6 in Toronto but earned his way back for the series finale. In those three victories, the Leafs held the Bruins danger trio to a grand total of zero points. And after a night of repeated frustration, Pastrnak bought the Bruins some insurance to end the top line's silence. He's natural big game performer, that was proven tonight, but more importantly, this kid could be a star for this team. "When they scored their first goal I was like 'Oh my goodness, ' but tried to focus on the next shift". "We knew that we had the resiliency in the room to continue to come back...we've done it all year". We know in the face of the ultimate pressure, a do-or-die postseason game, they rise to the occasion.

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