Editor’s note: Starting Tuesday, March 24, NESN will re-air memorable games from the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup run. Up next is Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. See the full schedule by clicking here.
We all remember Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final.
The Boston Bruins, after dropping Game 6, beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 in the deciding game at TD Garden to advance to the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks.
It was playoff hero Nathan Horton’s goal at 12:27 in the third period that accounted for the only tally of the game, which propelled the B’s to their first championship in 20 years.
Here are four things you might have forgotten about Game 7, which viewers can watch at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday night on NESN.
1. A really nice David Krejci pass set up Nathan Horton’s goal
Yes, Horton was the hero in multiple Game 7s — but he certainly didn’t do things alone.
With the defensive zone clear and Andrew Ference handling the puck, the blueliner zipped a pass up to Krejci in the neutral zone. A staple in Krejci’s game, he patiently weaved into the attacking zone and appeared as though he was going to backhand a pass into the slot.
Instead, he switched to his forehand, and just before reaching the end line he pivoted and got a pass off to the top of the crease, where Horton met the puck to redirect the game’s only goal. Krejci had to get the pass through an unbelievably tight space to find Horton.
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2. Despite the loss, Dwayne Roloson played incredible
There were plenty of times throughout the series that Roloson, 41 years old at the time and in what ultimately was his penultimate season, was a brick wall.
Game 7 very much was one of those cases, as he turned away 37 of the 38 shots he faced. And, as you can see above, there really was nothing he could do on the Horton goal.
3. Tim Thomas called out his doubters after the win
Thomas was 37 years old during the 2011 postseason, and he was well aware that people thought he was washed entering the season.
So after the 24-save shutout in the clincher, Thomas called out the doubters.
“I think a lot of people thought I was over the hill,” Thomas said, via The AP. “I knew it wasn’t true. I put in a lot of work over the summer and I’ve had an unbelievable year. I’ve been blessed.”
4. It was a really clean game
There wasn’t a single penalty called on either team the entire game, with the officials letting both sides play mostly uninterrupted.
Of course, though the Bruins’ penalty kill was solid, their power play was appalling during the entire postseason, so it’s not like the lack of a man advantage made things exponentially more difficult on them.