BEDFORD, Mass. -- It still runs the risk of becoming the Boston Bruins' version of Carlton Fisk's extra-inning home run for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series or the Boston Celtics' comeback from 21 points down in the 2002 conference finals.
Both of those great Boston postseason sports accomplishments of the past ultimately failed to pay off in a championship.
So as we wait to see how the Bruins' run through the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs ends, their comeback after trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on May 13 can only be classified as the wake-up call that sparked the Bruins to a deep postseason run.
The Bruins' improved quality of play from that night has continued forward into the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Including their wins in the first two games of this series, the Bruins have won seven of eight games and outscored their opponents 29-11 since they were behind the Maple Leafs 4-1.
Game 3 is Wednesday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"It seems like it. It seems like we have to have a bad experience in order to get going," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said after the team arrived at Hanscom Field from Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning. "Like two years ago (when the Bruins rallied from two games down against Montreal), we came out on top again. Once that happens, it seems like everybody starts playing better and rolling, and the whole team starts to fire."
No one will ever forget that Nathan Horton started the rally against the Maple Leafs with a goal 9:18 into the third period. Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron then scored extra-attacker goals 31 seconds apart with less than 1:22 remaining to tie the game. Bergeron made sure the comeback wasn't wasted with the overtime-winning goal 6:05 into the extra period. The Bruins then defeated the New York Rangers in the best-of-7 conference semifinals, 4-1.
Even though the comeback was remarkable and it started the Bruins on an amazing roll, defenseman Andrew Ference said he thinks part of the key to Boston's success has been that the team didn't take the victory against Toronto as a sign that it could coast.
"Well, it shouldn't take something like that. It's obviously something that everybody gets excited about, and we've definitely played better since, but you know that Toronto series was a tough series. They played us hard. And someone had the horseshoe with him in that game, because that's not going to happen very often," Ference said. "So I think everybody realized it was a great comeback, we're very fortunate. I just like the fact that I think a lot of guys turned the page on it and had fun with it that night and then immediately got ready for the next series. It was a good thing if you handle it the right way and don't talk about how great it was for the next week."
But if the Bruins earn six more wins, that comeback against the Maple Leafs will be talked about by players and fans alike for generations.