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Bruins vs Maple Leafs

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Bruins vs Maple Leafs - 2013 SCP Conference Quarterfinals

Maple Leafs see success, know more is work needed

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- A few days later, the shock is starting to wear off.

No, it was not just a really bad dream. In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs did blow a three-goal lead in the third period and a trip to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Boston Bruins, on the verge of blowing a 3-1 series lead of their own, scored two goals in the final two minutes of Game 7 with goalie Tuukka Rask on the bench in favor of an extra skater, then secured their comeback with an overtime goal.

It was a collapse for the ages. The Maple Leafs successfully and shockingly had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, sending a disbelieving fan base into instant mourning.

The city, which had come alive and was partying in the name of their beloved hockey team, took a collective punch to the gut. The Maple Leafs had the Bruins on the ropes and could not deliver the knockout.

Was it a successful season? Of course it was. Any time you make the playoffs after a nine-year absence, how can it be viewed as anything other than successful?

Five reasons Bruins advanced to second round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

Who would have thought there'd be the opportunity to write this story?

With the Boston Bruins down 4-1 and nearly half the third period salted away in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, it looked like the Maple Leafs would be the team in this space.

But the Bruins authored a miracle comeback win worthy of joining many of their greatest victories to eliminate the Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime and set up a second-round showdown against the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It's almost impossible to put into words how the Bruins got past Toronto. Still, here are five reasons the Bruins advanced to the second round for the first time since 2011:

Bruins refuse to lose; Leafs can't close the deal

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- So how exactly did the Boston Bruins rally from a 4-1 deficit to fashion a dramatic 5-4 overtime win on hockey's biggest stage -- Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Playoffs series.

It depends on who you ask.

Toronto coach Randy Carlyle thought his team's gas tank hit empty after Nazem Kadri scored 5:29 into the third period for a 4-1 lead. He says his players didn't have the energy reserves to successfully navigate the 14-plus minutes of the contest.

So instead of riding out the storm and pocketing a victory, the Maple Leafs allowed three goals in the final 10:42 of regulation to force overtime, which ended when Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the game at 6:05.

"Just trying to chew the clock, get the game down," Carlyle said of his team's mindset after delivering what seemed like the knockout punch to the Bruins. "You know they scored the one goal that gave them some life and we got it to a minute and a half and you knew the goaltender was going to be coming and we give up a goal that we thought, we still had a chance with the goalie out and they found a way to push one over the line. It just seemed like we ran out of gas."

Bergeron gets going just in time for Bruins

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON – The lasting image of Patrice Bergeron's first-round series in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was his inability to get enough mustard on his shot in overtime to beat Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby in Game 7.

Patrice Bergeron
Center - BOS
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 32 | +/-: 2

Bergeron, who was unable to take faceoffs for much of that series, revealed days after the Boston Bruins' Game 7 loss that he had been struggling with an oblique injury that would take time in the offseason to heal.

A mostly healthy Bergeron made sure Monday night that regardless of how the Bruins' run in the 2013 postseason ends, he'll always be remembered for something 180 degrees different from what transpired in 2012.

Bergeron capped one of the greatest comebacks in NHL postseason history with the game-tying goal with 50.2 seconds remaining in regulation, and then he won the game 5-4 with a goal 6:05 into overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

Five reasons Maple Leafs were eliminated

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Toronto Maple Leafs were so close to winning their first Stanley Cup Playoff series since 2004 that they could taste it. Toronto led the Boston Bruins 4-1 midway through the third period and 4-2 with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series -- only to see Boston score a pair of sixth-attacker goals to force overtime. Patrice Bergeron's goal 6:05 into overtime gave the Bruins a stunning 5-4 victory, making the Maple Leafs the first team in playoff history to lose a Game 7 after leading by three goals in the third period.

It was an agonizing finish to what had been the best season in Toronto in nearly a decade. Here are five reasons the Maple Leafs are going home for the summer:

Bruins' Seidenberg ailing after collision

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was injured on the first shift of the game Monday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

Seidenberg appeared to hit leg on leg against Maple Leafs forward Matt Frattin about 31 seconds into the game after a pinch down the left wall.

Officially, Seidenberg took one more shift in the first period for six seconds, but did not return to the ice. He was still sitting on the bench as of the second period.

Maple Leafs' Reimer ready to tackle his first Game 7

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – It is said hockey is a team sport. But enormous individual performances are often necessary for victory and if you don't have good goaltending, you rarely get too far in the playoffs.

Thus far, James Reimer has been providing the Toronto Maple Leafs with quality goaltending in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs -- good enough that an organization which has not been in the postseason for nine years suddenly finds itself in a Game 7 in the opening round.

Thanks to a 2-1 victory against the Boston Bruins at Air Canada Centre on Sunday night, the Maple Leafs have a date with the Bruins in Boston on Monday in a winner-take-all showdown at TD Garden. The victor advances to the second round against the winner of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup between Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, which also features a seventh game Monday.

Reimer's performance in Game 7 will have a lot to say with his team's ability to move forward this season. In fact, it might even have an international impact.

Airplane trouble keeps Bruins in Toronto


As if a disappointing 2-1 loss in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs wasn’t enough, the Boston Bruins received more bad news Sunday night.

Hoping to be able to sleep in their own beds before Monday’s Game 7 at TD Garden, the Bruins were forced to stay in Toronto due to a mechanical issue with their airplane.

Maple Leafs' Bozak scratched with undisclosed injury

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins are without key players for Sunday night's Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

Tyler Bozak, Toronto's No. 1 center who normally skates with left wing James van Riemsdyk and left wing Joffrey Lupul, was a game-time scratch with an undisclosed injury. In five playoff games, Bozak has a goal and an assist with four penalty minutes.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are without veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, who remained in Boston, also with an undisclosed injury. Ference is pointless in four games and served a one-game suspension early in the series for elbowing.

Bruins hoping to see more from Marchand, Seguin

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- If anyone knows what Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin are going through during the Boston Bruins' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's forward Milan Lucic.

In 2011, Lucic led the team during the regular season with 30 goals but failed to score a goal in the Bruins' first seven postseason games. Lucic also failed to score in the first round in 2012 against the Washington Capitals before the Bruins were eliminated.

Although the Bruins carry a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 Sunday (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), Marchand and Seguin have yet to solve the Toronto Maple Leafs' defense. Marchand, the Bruins' leading scorer in the regular season with 18 goals and 36 points, has two assists through five games, and Seguin, who scored 16 goals in the regular season, has no points.

"It happened to me last year and it happened to me in 2011, where you lead the team in goals and scoring and then you go into the first round of the playoffs and it's not really going for you," Lucic said after an optional practice Saturday at TD Garden. "I mean, I think you have to try to do whatever you can to get yourself out of it and not put too much emphasis on scoring. Because scoring is, if you look at it, you can't get to C without accomplishing A and B. So you just focus on A and B more so and it'll get to the result that you want to get to."

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