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After a forced Game 7, the Boston Bruins gained enough momentum defeating The Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 with the series on the line in order to move onto the next round. In result, Boston will play the Columbus Blue Jackets.
During the regular season, Boston finished with 107 points and a record of 49-24-9. After a slow start to the season, the Bruins emerged as a contender over time and squeezed their way into the playoff picture.
In the first period, both teams came out playing physical. This continued until 14 minutes into the 1st period when Joakim Nordstrom gave Boston an early 1-0 lead. Just 3 minutes later, Marcus Johansson increased the lead to 2-0. Tuukka Rask was a huge part of the early success for Boston, allowing no goals on 12 saved shots.
During the second, Toronto found their first goal 3 minutes in thanks to John Tavares. While Brad Marchand had a chance to increase the lead, it was denied by Frederik Andersen.
In the third period, Boston increased the lead to 3-1 within the first 2 minutes in thanks to Sean Kuraly. While Toronto had chances to get back into the game, Rask was lights-out. Charlie Coyle iced the game with an empty net goal, giving Boston a 4-1 lead in the closing minutes. From there, Patrice Bergeron added to the lead, finalizing the score 5-1.
With a rivalry between Boston and Toronto, it’s only fitting that the series went to the full extent.
Although Columbus knocked out the best-presumed team in the Tampa Bay Lighting, Boston will surely be a challenge in the second round. Both sides have something to prove, as the NHL playoffs have come to a must-watch spectacle.
Featured Image: Fox Sports