BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins are moving on to the second round of the playoffs. And once again, they’re doing so at the expense of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 5-1 on home ice in Tuesday night’s Game 7, sending the Bruins to the second round to face the Columbus Blue Jackets and sending the Leafs home for the summer.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Bruins and Blue Jackets will be in Boston on Thursday at 7 p.m.
For the Maple Leafs, this marks the third time in seven seasons that their season ended in a Game 7 in Boston during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This one was tight through 40 minutes, with the Bruins holding a 2-1 advantage when the third period began. But Sean Kuraly sent a puck on net high toward Frederik Andersen’s glove side, and the shot beat the netminder to stretch Boston’s lead to 3-1 with 17:20 left in the game.
Charlie Coyle added an empty-net goal with 2:34 to make it a 4-1 lead for the home team. Patrice Bergeron scored into an empty net as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Joakim Nordstrom got the scoring started when he slipped a shot past inside the near past through Frederik Andersen at the 14:29 mark of the opening period.
Marcus Johansson doubled Boston’s lead when he scored from a similar spot on the ice after a wraparound a little over three minutes later.
John Tavares cut the Bruins’ lead in half early in the second period, after a puck bounced from the boards to him all alone in the slot. Tavares beat Rask to the blocker side to put Toronto on the board.
The Maple Leafs dictated play in the second period but still trailed 2-1 heading into the third period. And once that final period began, the Bruins dominated.
Tuesday’s game marked the third time the Bruins and Maple Leafs have required a seventh game in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins won in overtime in the 2013 edition before winning 7-4 in Game 7 against Toronto last year. All three games were played on Boston’s home ice.
The game was a milestone for Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, as it was the 13th career Game 7 played for the 42-year-old. That ties him for most all time with Hall of Famers Scott Stevens and Patrick Roy.
The Bruins forced the Game 7 with a 4-2 win on Easter Sunday in Toronto. The Leafs had taken a 3-2 series lead when they beat the Bruins 2-1 in Boston in Game 5.