Bruins mount epic comeback to top Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins rally from three down to reach the Eastern Conference semi-finals
The Boston Bruins rallied from three goals down to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in Game 7 of the NHL playoffs on Monday night.
Having led the series 3-1 at one stage the Bruins were in danger of throwing away their regular season work as they trailed 4-1 in the third and final period.
But four late goals, including two in the final 90 seconds to take the fixture to overtime, saw them past their opponents.
The Bruins scored twice in the space of 31 seconds in the last 1:30 to level the tie and force an extra period. Once in overtime, a Patrice Bergeron goal with 6:06 gone eliminated the Maple Leafs and sent the Bruins through to a match-up against the New York Rangers.
"It was one of the crazy ones I've been part of," Bergeron told ESPN. "We found a way, not necessarily the way we would have liked to play the whole game."
The win means the Bruins become the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the final period.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask kept out 24 shots, but failed to stop Toronto opening up a 4-1 lead on Boston ice. The Bruins fought back though and will face the New York Rangers, with Games 1 and 2 in Boston on Thursday and Sunday this week.
It was heartbreaking for Toronto, who had battled back to level the series after they had fallen behind 3-1 at one stage, forcing a Game 7 with back-to-back wins.
Toronto goalkeeper James Reimer saved 30 shots for the Maple Leafs . He said: "I was trying to be pretty even-keeled. There was time left, they could come back and they did.
"When you're up 4-1 you'd like to be able to hold onto that lead."
The New York Rangers eliminated the Washington Capitals for the second year in a row in the other game in the East, beating their opponents 5-0 in the deciding Game 7 to set up a tie with the Bruins.