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This is why you never leave the party early.
Hope was all but lost and there was no wind left in the sails of any fan sticking around the TD Garden with less than 11 minutes to play in the Bruins’ season and down 4-1 to Toronto. Suddenly, the Bruins threw it into 4th gear. Playing one of the most physical games in recent memory, the Bruins stormed back from three goals down to send it to overtime where they capped off an improbable comeback to win it 5-4 and advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The game started off on a high note with Boston taking an early 1-0 lead on a Matt Bartkowski goal. Huge physical play in the Toronto zone led to the score and it looked like Leafs goalie James Reimer was facing some game 7 jitters.
Then Toronto showed up. The fast-paced Leafs team we have seen the past two games made themselves known as Cody Franson led the charge with two straight goals including the only goal of the 2nd period to put Toronto up 2-1 heading into the 3rd. That’s when things went from bad to worse.
It only took 2:09 into the 3rd for Toronto to continue the onslaught as former Bruin, Phil Kessel, netted his 4th goal of the playoffs to make it 3-1, bad guys. As if you needed to see another cutaway to the Leafs fans in Toronto, Nazem Kadri threw more dirt on the coffin of Boston’s season to increase the lead to 4-1 in the 3rd. At this point, fans were flooding their Facebook feeds with anti-Bruins tirades and demanding Claude Julien be fired. Admit it, you all gave up. Thank God the Bruins didn’t
Maybe it was Tuukka Rask making a huge save on the breakaway. Perhaps it was the memory of being knocked out of the playoffs in game 7 last season against Washington. Then again, it could have just been the B’s seeing James van Riemsdyk fall down one too many times. Whatever it was, the Bruins started their comeback.
Nathan Horton got the rally going at 9:18 of the 3rd to cut the deficit to 4-2. It was at that moment, you couldn’t help but think “How dare they give us hope?”. Everyone held their breath at the TD Garden as Julien pulled Tuukka with two minutes left to give the B’s the extra man. Amazingly, it worked! With just 1:22 left in the 3rd, Milan Lucic snuck one past James Reimer and Boston was only down by one goal.
Before you could have a moment of doubt as to whether or not they could pull off this miracle, Patrice Bergeron tied it at 4-4 just 31 seconds later to send the Garden into a frenzy and send the game into OT.
The comeback was completed at just over six minutes into extra time as once again, Patrice Bergeron was there to save the day and score his 3rd goal of the series, but more importantly, win the game 5-4 and send Toronto home.
The Bruins will advance to the 2nd round to face the New York Rangers who also won this evening in their own game 7 as they crushed Washington, 5-0.