Zdeno Chara provided a historic Stanley Cup Playoffs moment for the Boston Bruins by scoring the winning goal in a 6-4 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Game 4 of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round on Wednesday. The victory evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.
Chara (42 years, 30 days) scored what proved to be the winner at 5:39 of the third period, becoming the oldest defenseman to score a game-winning goal in the playoffs. The only players older than Chara to score a postseason game-winner were Hall of Fame forwards Mark Recchi of the Bruins (43 years, 125 days) in Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks (42 years, 301 days) in Game 1 of the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Boston's captain also became the second-oldest defenseman in NHL history to score a playoff goal of any type, behind only Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings (45 years, 86 days) in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
[RELATED: Bruins hang on to defeat Maple Leafs in Game 4 | Full Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]
Game 5 is at TD Garden on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN). When a best-of-7 series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has an all-time series record of 205-55 (78.8 percent).
Goalie Tuukka Rask made 38 saves for his 37th playoff win, passing Andy Moog (36) for sole possession of second place on the Bruins all-time list, trailing only Gerry Cheevers (53). Rask also moved past Antti Niemi (36) for the second-most postseason wins in NHL history among goalies born in Finland, behind only Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators (45).
Video: Zdeno Chara joins elite company next to Chris Chelios
Rantanen hero for Avalanche in OT win
Forward Mikko Rantanen tied the game with 2:50 remaining in regulation and scored the winner at 10:23 of overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round. Colorado has its first 3-1 lead in a best-of-7 series since the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals, when it defeated the Dallas Stars in five games.
Game 5 is Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, ALT). Teams that take a 3-1 lead in a best-of-7 series own an all-time series record of 276-28 (90.7 percent).
A Colorado series win against Calgary would mark the first time under the current Stanley Cup Playoff format (since 1986-87) that the team with the best regular-season record in each conference would be eliminated in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in four games in the Eastern Conference First Round, which ended Tuesday.
Rantanen became the 18th player in NHL history to score a tying goal in the final five minutes of the third period and get the overtime winner. He's the second player to do so with the Avalanche; center Paul Stastny did it in a 5-4 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the 2014 Western Conference First Round. That was also the last time Colorado overcame being down by multiple goals in the third period to win a playoff game.
Rantanen also became the second Avalanche player to score a game-tying goal in the final five minutes of regulation during this series; forward J.T. Compher did it at 17:21 of the third period in Game 2, a 3-2 overtime win. Colorado won two games in a playoff series when it scored the tying goal in the final five minutes of regulation for the third time in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history; it also happened during the 2006 conference quarterfinals against the Stars and the 2014 first-round series against the Wild.
Colorado staged the second multigoal comeback in this year's playoffs; the Blue Jackets rallied from three goals down to defeat the Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round. There were 138 multigoal comeback wins during the regular season, an NHL record.
Video: CGY@COL, Gm4: Rantanen ties game late, wins it in OT
Stars turn on power, even series against Predators
The Stars scored four goals in the first period, three on the power play, and defeated the Nashville Predators 5-1 at American Airlines Center in Game 4 of the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round. The series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).
Dallas scored at least four goals in the first period of a playoff game for the fifth time in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history and the first since moving to Texas in 1993. The other instances came in Game 3 of the 1991 Norris Division Semifinals (five goals), Game 2 of the 1971 NHL Semifinals (four), Game 3 of the 1981 Preliminary Round (four) and Game 3 of the 1991 Norris Division Final (four).
Forward Roope Hintz scored twice to become the first Stars rookie to have a multigoal game in the playoffs since Niko Kapanen, who scored twice against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Game 5 of the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals. Hintz (22 years, 151 days) also became the first Stars/North Stars player to have a multigoal playoff game before turning 23 since Mike Modano (20 years, 321 days) scored twice for Minnesota against the St. Louis Blues in in Game 4 of the 1991 Norris Division Final.