(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to pull off a remarkable
comeback in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, as they visit the Boston
Bruins for Monday's Game 7 battle at TD Garden.
The Maple Leafs trailed this series 3-1 before recording a pair of 2-1
victories in Games 5 and 6 to set up Monday's decisive battle in Boston.
Toronto is trying to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series for the first time
since 1942 when it lost the first three games of the Stanley Cup Finals before
storming back to beat Detroit.
Boston will be playing in a Game 7 for the eighth time in the past six
seasons. The Bruins are 3-4 in those series and all three wins came in 2011,
when Boston won its first Stanley Cup title since 1972.
However, the fourth-seeded Bruins have blown 3-1 leads twice in their history
and both instances occurred in the last decade. Boston led Montreal three
games to one before losing the 2004 Eastern Conference quarterfinals and the
B's held a 3-0 edge over Philadelphia in 2010 only to lose that second-round
Boston is 12-11 all-time in Game 7s, while the Maple Leafs are 12-9.
The Bruins lost to Washington in Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals last
spring. Meanwhile, Toronto's last Game 7 was in 2004, when the Leafs beat
Ottawa to win an opening-round series.
Toronto used its first home playoff win since 2004 to even this series at
three games apiece on Sunday. Phil Kessel's goal at the 8:59 mark of the third
period proved to be the difference, as the Maple Leafs took down the Bruins
2-1 to force this evening's decisive Game 7.
Dion Phaneuf also lit the lamp in the final frame for Toronto and James Reimer
made 29 saves in the win.
"We know we're going to go into a hostile building (Monday) night in Boston,"
said Toronto coach Randy Carlyle. "We know the passion in their market and
their fans. We've been there already, we know what we're heading to and we
just have to make sure that we play the game to a higher level than we did
tonight. Because we know they will."
The Maple Leafs were 13-8-3 on the road during the regular season, but have a
2-1 record in Boston in this series.
The Bruins, who were 16-5-3 at TD Garden this season, received their only goal
on Sunday from Milan Lucic. After scoring nine times over Games 3 and 4 in
Toronto, Boston has managed just two goals. Zdeno Chara had the only score in
Friday's Game 5 setback.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves in Sunday's loss at Air Canada Centre.
Making matters worse for the Bruins, the club was unable to fly back to Boston
following Sunday's game and was forced to fly in Monday morning instead.
"Late during tonight's game we were made aware that there was a malfunction
with our airplane. As a result we are staying in Toronto on Sunday night and
the team will travel to Boston on Monday morning," Bruins general manager
Peter Chiarelli said in a statement.
Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak was a late scratch from Sunday's game with an
undisclosed injury and is questionable for tonight. Bruins defenseman Andrew
Ference also missed Game 6 with an undisclosed injury.
This is the 14th time these Original Six teams have met in the playoffs, but
the first since 1974, when Boston swept Toronto in the opening round. The
teams last met in a Game 7 in the 1959 Stanley Cup semifinals when the Maple
Leafs beat the Bruins by a 3-2 score.
The winner of Monday's Game 7 will face either Washington or the New York
Rangers in the second round. The Capitals are hosting the Rangers in another
decisive game on Monday.
The Sports Network