BOSTON — Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci have waited four years to win a Stanley Cup playoff series, and they attributed much of Wednesday’s Game 7 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to the young core.

“They always find a way to step up,” Bergeron said after the game. “It’s a special group.”

One particular rookie who shined was Jake DeBrusk, as the 21-year-old played a crucial role in the Bruins’ 7-4 victory at TD Garden.

“Jake stepped up with big goals,” Bergeron said.

DeBrusk had two goals on the night, including the game-tying and tie-breaking goal.

Danton Heinen also had a goal for Boston in the first period to tie the game at two while Charlie McAvoy made his presence known on the ice, accounting for two hits in 26:43 of ice time.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy liked what he saw from Heinen, saying he thought it was his “hardest game on the puck in a long time.”

Bergeron, who’s been with Boston since the team selected him in the 2003 NHL Draft, likes what he sees in the young players.

“The character these young guys have is special,” Bergeron said. “And it’s fun for us as veterans to help.”

Cassidy agreed, noting every rookie seems to have a veteran on their line for support. He said the young guys have succeeded in part because they want to learn from their “big brothers.”

“We’re not here without the core (veteran) group, obviously,” Cassidy said after the game. “We’ve supplemented them well with some good young guys that can play and that are respectful.

“You could be good, but if you don’t want to learn, the veteran guys, after a while, will say, ‘Hey if this guy doesn’t want it, then we’ll just move along.”

Part of that learning process occurred Wednesday night, when the veterans gave the club a pep talk before the start of the third period. The message was simple:

“I believe, we all believe that we could do it and find a way (to win),” Bergeron said.

The Bruins found their way to a second-round date with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which will begin Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET for Game 1.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images