Bruins a Win Away from Stanley Cup Finals
The Boston Bruins were 51 seconds away from a first round elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and now they are 60 minutes away from the Stanley Cup finals.
The Bruins, who led the Toronto series three games to one and frittered it away, found themselves down 4-1 halfway through the third period of Game 7. Nathan Horton scored to make it 4-2, but when Tukka Rask went to the bench in the waning moments for the extra skater, Boston still trailed by two.
Milan Lucic scored with 1:22 left and then Patrice Bergeron tied it with 51 seconds left to send the Boston crowd into a frenzy. Bergeron won the game for Boston in overtime, and the Bruins have not looked back since.
The B's almost did the same thing in 2011 on the way to the Stanley Cup. In the first round, they lost the first two games to Montréal at home before winning the series in seven games, which included winning one in overtime and one before that in double overtime. The Bruins then swept Philadelphia and beat Tampa Bay in seven games before rallying to beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to win the Cup.
This season, after beating Toronto, the Bruins easily defeated the Rangers in five games and have so far dominated the powerful Pittsburgh Penguins, currently leading the series, three games to none. Boston has been led by Rask, who took over in goal this season for Tim Thomas. Rask was spectacular in Game 3 against Pittsburgh, making 53 saves in a 2-1 double-overtime win.
Sometimes it is just one play, one period, or one game that gets a team over the hump and on a roll. The Kings are still alive against the Blackhawks -- barely -- after trailing two games to none in the first round against St.Louis. Chicago trailed Detroit, three games to one, and came back to advance to the Western Conference finals.
But nobody does it like the Bruins, and after the Toronto series, not too many people will be betting against them the rest of the way.