No. 3 Moment Of 2019: Bruins Beat Maple Leafs In Game 7 To Kick Off Stanley Cup Run

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January 1, 2020

What a year this was in New England sports! As we move into 2020, join NESN.com in looking back at the top five moments of 2019.

TD Garden historically has been a house of horrors for the Toronto Maple Leafs when it comes to Game 7s, and such was the case again in 2019.

The Boston Bruins met the Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2019, marking the second time in as many years and the third time in the decade they went head-to-head in the opening series. The Leafs took a 3-2 series lead with a Game 5 win in Boston, but they were unable to close the deal in Game 6 at home, requiring a trip back to Causeway Street.

In what had been a mostly even series, the Bruins delivered a thorough, 5-1 shellacking in the clinching game to kick off another Stanley Cup run, which this time ended with a loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Final.

It was nothing but joy at the Garden on April 23, with the Bruins striking first from a somewhat unlikely source. At 14:29 in the first period, Joakim Nordstrom ripped a bad-angle shot that somehow trickled through Frederik Andersen to put the Bruins on the board. Just over three minutes later, an impressive wrister from Marcus Johansson sent the B’s into the break up a pair.

Just a few minutes into the middle period, John Tavares buried the only goal of the stanza, sending the game into the final frame with the Bruins up by just one goal.

But — as has been the case his whole career — Sean Kuraly delivered a big goal. Instead of dumping the puck in, the fourth-line center cut through the Toronto zone while his teammates were in the middle of a shift change. He then ripped a shot that beat Andersen at 2:40 to put the Bruins back up by two.

Boston from there would bear down, fighting Toronto’s late pushes before Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron scored empty-netters to seal the victory.

The Bruins subsequently defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes in the postseason before falling to the Blues. But none of that success would have been possible without their Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs, placing the victory at No. 3 on our top five Boston sports moments of 2019.

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