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Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer lays on the ice after getting beat on the game winning goal by Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron during overtime in Game 7 of their NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Boston, Monday, May 13, 2013. The Bruins won 5-4. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Bergeron, Bruins rally to stun Leafs in Game 7
NHL » Boston rallies from 3-goal deficit to advance to Eastern semifinals.
First Published May 14 2013 08:44 am • Last Updated May 15 2013 05:03 pm

Boston • Patrice Bergeron put the winning touch on an extraordinary comeback, then raced into the arms of smiling teammate Zdeno Chara.

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"It’s about finding a way and showing some character," the Bruins’ best all-around player said. "Everyone has to step up in the playoffs and tonight was my turn to do it for my team."

James Reimer lay face down in the crease, the puck that Bergeron had just shot for the deciding goal resting right beside him.

"There’s no way to describe it," the Maple Leafs teary-eyed goalie said. "Just an empty feeling, really. It’s over and there’s nothing you can do about it."

Boston rallied from a three-goal deficit with 11 minutes left in the third period and beat Toronto 5-4 on Bergeron’s goal at 6:05 of overtime on Monday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals starting Thursday night at home against the New York Rangers.


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The desperate Bruins regained their aggressiveness just in time after squandering a 3-1 lead in games and trailing 4-1 in the third period of Game 7. They had scored just three goals in the previous eight periods before getting four in the final 16 minutes of the series.

Nathan Horton scored at 9:18 of the third period and then, with goalie Tuukka Rask pulled for an extra skater, Boston tied the game with 51 seconds remaining in the period on goals by Milan Lucic and Bergeron in a span of 31 seconds.

Three years ago, the Bruins blew a three-goal lead in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers. Philadelphia won, completing a comeback after losing the first three games.

On Monday, the Maple Leafs felt the momentum slipping away.

"It can be a killer when you give up a lead like that and we’ve been there before," said Boston’s Brad Marchand, who had a poor series but assisted on the winning goal. "We know what it’s like, so we wanted to make sure we jumped on that and came out hard, and we did that" in overtime.

According to information provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bruins are the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period. The last time the Bruins overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period of any playoff game was in 1990 when they beat the Hartford Whalers 6-5.

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