The Boston Bruins overcame multiple deficits en route to a dominant third period, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jake DeBrusk was the hero, scoring twice, including the game-winner in the third period.
The game didn’t take long to open up in terms of scoring. After the Bruins’ Sean Kuraly got called for a trip just 30 seconds into the game, Patrick Marleau made them pay when he tipped a point shot through Tuukka Rask to get the Leafs on the board just 2:05 into the game. But rookie Jake DeBrusk answered just 2:42 later after the Bruins got a power play of their own on a delay of game penalty by Toronto, deflecting a David Pastrnak point shot past Frederik Andersen to tie the game 1-1.
However, the scoring was just getting started at that point. Marleau scored his second of the night after taking a slick pass from Mitch Marner, firing it top-shelf past Rask. Torey Krug couldn’t break the puck out or cover Marleau effectively prior to the goal.
Danton Heinen got another equalizer for the Bruins when he scored from the slot off a rebound, rewarding head coach Bruce Cassidy for re-inserting him into the Bruins lineup after he was a healthy scratch for Game 6. Rick Nash made a great play to center the puck through his legs and set up the first chance, sparking the rebound that led to Heinen’s goal.
The Bruins finally got on top with just 37 seconds left in the first period, when Patrice Bergeron took advantage of a slick intentionally wide shot by Kevan Miller. Bergeron collected the rebound and tucked it in by Andersen to make it 3-2 Bruins after one.
Unfortunately for the B’s, the wheels came off in the second period. Despite out-shooting Toronto 13-6 in the second frame, bad defense and goaltending undid them. Travis Dermott tied the game 3-3 just 2:07 into the second, ripping a wrist shot over Rask’s glove. And less than four minutes later, Brad Marchand committed an ugly turnover during a Bruins power play when he mishandled the puck at the offensive blue line, leading to a rush the other way by Kasperi Kapanen. Kapanen got by Marchand’s backcheck attempt to get in all alone on Rask, and deked around the goalie shootout-style to tuck it in and put the Leafs on top 4-3, a lead they took into the third period.
Needing their best 20 minutes of the season in the final period with the season on the line, the Bruins came out on fire. Torey Krug ripped a laser of a shot past Andersen to tie the game back up at 4-4. After buzzing for a few more opportunities in the Leafs’ zone, Jake DeBrusk played the role of hero when he took the puck on a rush and snapped it five-hole through Andersen to put the Bruins on top 5-4. David Pastrnak added an insurance goal later in the period and Brad Marchand scored an empty-netter to put the Leafs away for good.
Up Next: The Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting on Saturday in Tampa.