Happy Anniversary (plus a week) to one of the more shocking games in NHL playoff history! In keeping with the theme of weird hockey things, here is another strange occurrence in Bruins history.
On May 13th, 2013, the Bruins came back to win in Game 7 of the NHL Playoffs Quarterfinals. At home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins found themselves down 4-1 going into the last fifteen minutes of the game. Not only did they force an overtime, but they won! This is all after blowing a 3-1 series lead in the first place, and losing games 5 and 6, forcing the game 7. So really, it was a comeback that stopped another type of comeback!
The game was incredibly physical from the outset.
Four of the nine penalties called were for “roughing”. Only Toronto managed a power play goal off Zdeno Chara’s high sticking penalty in the first. Overall, prior to the third period, the game was fast, aggressive, and clearly high stakes. Boston started the scoring, but didn’t answer the Maple Leafs until the Leafs put four goals on the board. There were fourteen minutes left. That’s a lot of hockey, but not necessarily a three goal amount of hockey. Hope began to die in the TD Garden and, even watching, you could feel the anger growing in the stands.
As play-by-play commentator Jack Edwards said, “Not only were the Bruins toast, but we were deciding what kind of jam to put on that toast.”
Then-it got fun. Boston would go on to score three goals in just ten minutes and forty-two seconds. The Maple Leafs missed an empty net. For those ten minutes, the Bruins crushed the Maple Leafs. Watching the tape back, every lane was cut off. Time after time, the Bruins drove the Leafs into the front of their own net and screened goalie James Reimer at every turn. They turned it on. With 32 seconds left, the Bruins had two goals to score. Those goals came off the sticks of Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron’s goal came rocketing out of the high slot and went top shelf corner. Reimer never had a chance.
In overtime, it would be Bergeron again picking up a rebound off the overwhelmed Reimer. The Bruins out-shot the Maple Leafs from the top to the bottom. Reimer lay face down on the ice after the game winner went in. The Bruins had done the impossible.
In the end, Boston lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals that year.
Reimer later called the loss “definitely the top five lows of your life.” Boston continued on. Hero Bergeron sustained significant injuries in the finals, finally ending his playoff run in Game 6 with a punctured lung, collapsing from a broken rib and separated shoulder he acquired in Games 4 and 5. It wasn’t a Stanley Cup year for Boston…Yet!
Every day, even when sports are on hiatus, is a great day for hockey!
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