Last night loud cheers and excitement from the Black and Gold faithful flooded Causeway Street as the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in a crucial do-or-die Game 7. For Boston, the scenario was all too familiar. And for fans on both sides of the fence, this series was poised to reach a Game 7.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
For Toronto fans, the hope was that their young team would finally slay the dragon, as they have lost to Boston in the same fashion twice in a row. With Boston up 3-1 in the third, Bruins’ Charlie Coyle would seal their fate by netting a wrist shot in the final few minutes of the period. Within seconds at the end of the period, Patrice Bergeron would end the night as he backhanded another goal, making the final score 5-1.
FOURTH LINE MAGIC
Boston’s fourth line, along with goaltender Tuukka Rask (more on him later) were the heavy stars in last night’s wild victory. The Kuraly-Nordstrom-Acciari trio proved to be huge in both Game 6 and Game 7. That line started things off for Boston, as Joakim Nordstrom ripped the puck through the pads and glove of Frederick Andersen, giving Boston a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, fellow Swedish player Marcus Johannson sent one in with a wrist shot, making the score 2-0 Boston. As the lone goal of the night for Toronto (and the only one in the second period), John Tavares netted a goal that shot by Tuukka Rask, making the score 2-1. With Toronto just one goal away from tying the game, Boston’s fourth line would deliver one of the game’s bigger moments, as 26-year-old Sean Kuraly (coming back from a fractured hand) banked a goal that added some cushion to the Bruins lead.
Kuraly has scored five goals in 19 career post-season games. And yes, the Kuraly-leap was back and he was missed:
“We talked about him missing the start of the series. And you talk about a depth guy and think how much you can miss him, but we use him a lot of different ways for us.”Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy
ALL ABOUT THE GOALTENDING
Tuukka Rask: a name that causes debate among fans and sport pundits alike. Those Tuukka haters are loud and very quick to point out that with Rask in net, the Bruins will never win a cup. And any goal that gets past Rask is a “soft” one, or rather “he should’ve had it!” No matter how you feel about Rask and the holes you can poke into his performance on any regular season game, last night the Bruins goaltender was impressive.
Along with a determined Bruins team, Rask was able to keep the Leafs at bay and allowed only one goal. He made 32 saves total for the night.
“I hope fans recognized what he did tonight…hopefully people get behind him and acknowledge that…It’s a big Game 7 win. I believe he was our best player. ”Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy
“He was a big difference in tonight’s game. He made some big saves, controlled the rebounds, especially in the second period when they started pushing us. They were putting a lot of pucks at the net, creating more offensive zone time. Tuukka was just very strong for us. And we needed that. Sometimes it’s not always going to be perfect breaking out the pucks and making plays, but that’s when you have to rely on your goalie and that we did.”Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
NEXT UP: Against the Columbus Blue Jacket, Second Round, Game 1
WHEN: Thursday, April 25th at TD Garden with puck drop at 7:00 pm
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