Bruins Take Down the Maple Leafs in Game 7
BOSTON — Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly each had a goal and assist, Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots and the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-1, in Game 7 on Tuesday night to wrap up their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Marcus Johansson added his first goal of the postseason for Boston and Charlie Coyle scored on an empty netter late in the third. Patrice Bergeron also had a late goal.
It is the Bruins’ second straight Game 7 win over the Maples Leafs and third in three playoff matchups between the teams. Boston previously knocked Toronto out of the postseason with Game 7 victories in 2018 and 2013.
Boston advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where it will meet the Columbus Blue Jackets.
John Tavares had Toronto’s goal on an assist by Tyler Ennis. Frederik Andersen finished with 27 saves.
The Maple Leafs’ loss means there are no Canadian teams remaining in the playoffs. Calgary and Winnipeg previously lost their first-round series.
The Bruins led by 2-1 after two periods and needed just 2 minutes 40 seconds of the third to add to it.
Toronto forced action in Boston’s defensive zone before the puck was poked out near the center of the ice and controlled by Kuraly. He promptly split between Tavares and Ron Hainsey, crossed in front of Morgan Rielly and fired a wrist shot past Andersen to give the Bruins a two-goal edge.
Boston came up empty on multiple early shot attempts before its fourth line broke through with the first goal of the night.
Joakim Nordstrom found a small seam left open by Andersen and slipped the puck past him to put the Bruins up 1-0 with 5:31 left in the first period. Matt Grzelcyk and Kuraly got assists.
A little over two minutes later, Toronto’s Jake Gardiner gave away the puck behind his own net after being forechecked by Karson Kuhlman. Johansson controlled the puck, spun in front and fired a quick shot just inside the left post to make the score 2-0.
Toronto struck back at 3:54 of the second. Ennis jarred the puck loose with his forecheck on Grzelcyk. The puck found its way to Tavares, who punched through his second goal of the playoffs to pull the Maple Leafs to 2-1.
Toronto got a one-man advantage with 11:38 left in the second after Brandon Carlo was called for a crosscheck on Andreas Johnsson. Boston’s defense stepped up, dodging eight Maple Leafs shot attempts to notch the penalty kill.
The offensive aggression from Game 6 carried over to Game 7, with both teams combining for eight shots on goal in first seven minutes.
One of the best early runs was by the Maple Leafs midway through the opening period.
Mitchell Marner wove his way through Boston’s defense on a one-man rush and got off a clean shot from just outside the face-off circles. But Rask had plenty of time to set up and was there to corral it. He also stopped two other close attempts by Marner.
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