Boston 7 Toronto 4 (Bruins win series in 7)
BRUINS RALLY TO WIN ANOTHER EPIC GAME 7 AGAINST MAPLE LEAFS
The Bruins overcame deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 – highlighted by four unanswered goals in the third period – to defeat the Maple Leafs in Game 7 and advance to the Second Round for the first time since 2014.
* Boston became the first team in NHL history to overcome three deficits of at least one goal to win a Game 7 in regulation (only three clubs did so en route to overtime wins). Five years ago, Boston became the first team in NHL history to overcome a three-goal, third-period deficit to win in a Game 7, also against the Maple Leafs.
* The 11 combined goals matched the third-most ever in a Game 7, with only five others reaching the 10-goal plateau. The Bruins became the seventh team in NHL history to score at least seven goals in a Game 7 and first since the Red Wings in the 2002 Conference Finals vs. COL (7-0 W).
* Wednesday’s contest was also the second Game 7 in NHL history in which four tying goals were scored (BOS: 3, TOR: 1). The other such instance came in the 2014 First Round when the Wild tied the game four times in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Avalanche.
* The Bruins will face the Lightning in the Second Round, with Game 1 slated for Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in Tampa (NBC, SN, TVAS). This marks the second playoff series between Tampa Bay and Boston following a seven-game showdown in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final. The teams combined for an average of six goals per game in that series, but a pair of shutouts by eventual Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas helped the Bruins advance – highlighted by a 24-save performance in their 1-0 series-clinching win – en route to their sixth Stanley Cup.
SPOTLIGHT ON OVECHKIN, CROSBY AS CAPS, PENS MEET AGAIN
Captains Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby headline the conversation ahead of the 11th all-time playoff meeting between the Capitals and Penguins, the third consecutive year that the clubs will meet in the postseason (all in the Second Round). They are the first NHL clubs to meet in three consecutive postseasons, all after the opening round, since 1988-92, when the Bruins faced the Canadiens in the Division Finals for five straight years.
* The Penguins own a 9-1 advantage in their 10 prior playoff series with the Capitals, including victories en route to all five of their Stanley Cups (in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016 and 2017). Their .900 head-to-head winning percentage is the second-best in NHL postseason history among teams that have met in at least five series.
* Game 1 will mark the 20th head-to-head playoff matchup for Crosby and Ovechkin, who recorded 6-7—13 and 5-3—8, respectively, in the First Round. Ovechkin has posted 12-14—26 in the 19 previous meetings compared to 10-12—22 for Crosby, with the Penguins owning an 11-8 games advantage and 3-0 series edge in those meetings. Crosby also has collected 20-43—63 in the 45 regular-season games in which the two players have faced off (Ovechkin: 28-20—48); the Penguins are 27-16-2 in those contests (WSH: 18-21-6).
GOALTENDING DUEL AT FOREFRONT OF VEGAS-SAN JOSE SHOWDOWN
Backed by the only remaining Western Conference goaltenders with their names on the Stanley Cup, the Golden Knights (Marc-Andre Fleury: 3x) and Sharks (Martin Jones: 1x) will meet in the Second Round after allowing a combined seven goals against en route to both sweeping their First Round matchups (VGK: 3 GA, SJS: 4 GA).
* Golden Knights forward William Karlsson led all skaters with four goals in four head-to-head matchups during the regular season (VGK: 3-0-1, SJS: 1-2-1), including a stunning between-the-legs goal while shorthanded that clinched the Pacific Division title for Vegas on March 31.
* Sharks captain Joe Pavelski (2-3—5 in FR) leads a group of 24 San Jose players who are pursuing their first Stanley Cup. That list includes forward Evander Kane, acquired on Feb. 26, who made his postseason debut in Game 1 against Anaheim (after 574 career regular-season games) and shared the team lead with three goals in the First Round.