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game recap

Bruins win Game 7, eliminate Maple Leafs

Boston advances to second round after defeating Toronto in deciding game again

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

Kuraly's top-shelf snipe

TOR@BOS, Gm7: Kuraly pots one top shelf on the rush

R1, Gm7: Sean Kuraly gains the zone and wires a high shot to the top corner, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:49 •

BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask made 32 saves, and the Boston Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference Second Round with a 5-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round at TD Garden on Tuesday.

Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who won the final two games of the series and will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the second round Thursday.

"Well I think we've been there before," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "I think a lot of guys, we try to rely on our experiences, try to share that with other guys. Most of the young guys were with us last year and lived it also. So I think it's definitely a great character win for us tonight against a really good team."

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Bruins highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have not won a playoff series since 2004 and were eliminated by Boston in Game 7 of the first round for the second straight season. 

"I thought we played real good and carried lots of the play and executed and played the way we wanted to play," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "So it's disappointing. I thought our series this year compared to last year, we were a way better hockey club. In the end, we weren't rewarded."

Nordstrom scored from along the goal line on a shot that got through Andersen's pads short side to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 14:29 of the first period.

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm7: Nordstrom sneaks shot past Andersen

"We were talking before the game that we wanted to have a shot-first mentality," Nordstrom said. "I was just trying to get a rebound, [Kuraly] was crashing the net. It ended up going in, so we'll take it."

Marcus Johansson made it 2-0 at 17:46, getting the puck behind the net following a turnover by Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner and skating into the left circle before scoring on a wrist shot off the far post.

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm7: Johansson buries shot from the circle

John Tavares cut it to 2-1 at 3:54 of the second period after Tyler Ennis forced a turnover along the right wall and poked the puck over to him.

"We have to find ways to get better," Tavares said. "We have a quality team, we have a lot of talent, we have a lot of youth, a lot of growth still ahead of us. ... (You) really realize you have to make the most of every chance you get. It's just difficult right now."

Kuraly scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle at 2:40 of the third period for a 3-1 lead.

Charlie Coyle (17:26) and Bergeron (19:59) each scored into an empty net for the 5-1 final.

"Well, I personally felt good from the start of the series," Rask said. "I felt good pretty much all year. You know, obviously the workload hasn't been too much, so I feel fresh. It's all about feeling confident and preparing yourself the right way, trusting your teammates. I thought we battled hard for each other all year, and you know, I think it showed again today."

Video: Clutch Performance: Rask makes 32 saves in Game 7

 

They said it 

"We've got to push through this because you can't be talking after a playoff series that you're going home. That's the bottom line. We've improved our team drastically, you've witnessed it. This series we were a way better team than we were a year ago, but we're at the same point with the same result here today, and so that part is disappointing." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock 

"It was amazing. The fans were obviously very excited, very loud, gave us extra energy, and we were obviously feeding off that. So thanks to everyone who came and cheered us on and everyone who was watching at home." -- Bruins captain Zdeno Chara 

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Boston moves on to Second Round

 

Need to know

Toronto is 12-12 in Game 7, including 5-11 on the road, where it has lost its past six. … Boston is 15-12 in Game 7, including 14-8 at home. The Bruins have the most Game 7 wins in NHL history, passing the Montreal Canadiens (14-9) and Detroit Red Wings (14-11). … Chara tied the NHL record by playing in his 13th Game 7, joining Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens. … Bruins center David Krejci has five points (two goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Boston had a power-play percentage of 43.8 percent (7-for-16), its second highest in a Stanley Cup Playoff series (44.4 percent, 1978 quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks).

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Season over

Bruins: Host Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Second Round on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Video: Bruins eliminate Maple Leafs with 5-1 win in Game 7

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