BOSTON — TD Garden is a house of horrors for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Just like in 2013, they took a lead into the third period of Wednesday night’s Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. And once again, the Leafs squandered it and their season came to a frustrating end as the B’s won 7-4.
The Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the third period, including the game-winner by rookie forward Jake DeBrusk (one of two goals for him on the night).
Boston advances to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2014. The B’s meet the Tampa Bay Lightning next.
Here’s how Game 7 unfolded.
LEAFS STRIKE FIRST
Sean Kuraly took a tripping penalty 30 seconds into the first period, and the Leafs capitalized with a power-play goal scored by Patrick Marleau — his third tally of the series. The goal was assisted by William Nylander and Jake Gardiner.
BRUINS QUICKLY RESPOND
The Bruins got their own power play at 3:00 of the first period when Morgan Rielly was penalized for delay of game (puck over the glass). After coming within inches of scoring earlier in the power play when the Leafs saved the puck off the goal line, Boston equalized when DeBrusk tipped a shot by David Pastrnak into the net. David Krejci did a nice job at the blue line keeping the puck in the attacking zone just prior to the goal.
Marleau put the Leafs up 2-1 when he scored his second goal of the night at 6:12 of the opening period. Mitch Marner earned the lone assist on the goal, giving him a six-game point streak in the series.
The Bruins responded again and tied the score 2-2 when Danton Heinen collected a bouncing puck in the slot, turned and fired a shot past Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen. It was Heinen’s first career playoff goal. Rick Nash and David Krejci tallied assists on the goal.
BRUINS TAKE THEIR FIRST LEAD
The B’s took their first lead of the game when Kevan Miller fired a great pass off the end boards and Patrice Bergeron got to the puck and stuck it in the net to put Boston up 3-2.
Toronto tied the score 3-3 when Travis Dermott scored 2:07 into the second period. The B’s couldn’t clear the puck and the Leafs were able to score on Dermott’s tip. Roman Polak and Nylander got the assists on the goal.
KAPENEN SCORES INCREDIBLE GOAL
Kasperi Kapanen, who arrived in Toronto via the Phil Kessel trade, scored a gorgeous shorthanded goal to put the Leafs up 4-3 at 6:05 of the second period. Kapanen beat Brad Marchand to the puck and then scored on B’s goalie Tuukka Rask with a fancy deke.
BRUINS CAPITALIZE ON ANOTHER POWER PLAY
The Bruins tied the score 4-4 just 1:10 into the third period when Krug ripped a laser past Andersen. It was Krug’s ninth point (two goals, seven assists) of the series.
DeBrusk scored his second goal of the night, this one on a spectacular solo effort. The tally put the Bruins up 5-4 with 14:35 left in the third period. Krejci also picked up his third assist of the game on the goal. DeBrusk is the first B’s rookie to score twice in a Game 7 since Marchand in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
David Pastrnak put the Bruins up 6-4 at 11:39 of the third period with his fifth goal of the series.
Marchand sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left.
The Bruins will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2, with the puck dropping in Game 1 at 3:00 in Tampa. Click here for the full schedule.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports