For the Boston Bruins, it was a miraculous comeback. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was a devastating collapse.
The Leafs, having fallen behind in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series 3-1 only to force a seventh and deciding game back in Boston, had a three-goal lead with 11 minutes remaining in the third period of Monday’s Game 7.
Then came the collapse. Or maybe it was the comeback.
The Bruins scored three times in the final 10:42 of regulation to force overtime, before Patrice Bergeron scored in the first extra period to give Boston a 5-4 win on home ice.
The Bruins are off to the second round of the playoffs.
The Leafs will now contemplate what might have been.
“I don’t know what happened to us. You can’t lose that game,” said Leafs forward Phil Kessel, as per a tweet from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
“That’s definitely among the top five lows in your life… It’s just an empty feeling really,” said Leafs goalie James Reimer, as per James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.