The Boston Bruins bench reacts after a fight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the TD Garden on April 20, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(April 19, 2013 - Source: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where steak house helped Bruins in their hour of need


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s decision to split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for Game 7 of the first round paid off. However, he won’t tip his hand for the Red Wings’ series opener against Chicago. (Detroit Free Press)

Jason Spezza might be available for the Ottawa Senators as early as Game 3. (Ottawa Citizen)

Will the Edmonton Oilers buy out captain Shawn Horcoff? (Edmonton Journal)

After being stranded in Toronto Sunday night, the Boston Bruins had to scramble to find a place to eat and were grateful when Canyon Creek Restaurant agreed to accommodate them. “I’m sure they were, if not closed, pretty close to closing,” Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. The restaurant got four tickets to Game 7 as a thank you and a Bruins’ fan within the staff took advantage of the offer. He got quite a show. (

The San Jose Sharks might get defenseman Jason Demers back for Game 1. (CSN Bay Area)

The Senators see their upcoming series against the Pittsburgh Penguins has another chance to prove their critics wrong. (Toronto Star)

Canada just narrowly beats Slovenia on Monday at the World Championship. Steven Stamkos scored twice to help the Canadians avoid the upset. (

Highlights from the New York Rangers’ 5-0 victory over Washington:

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Bruins’ Lucic: ‘This was a huge win’

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

Down and looking like they might be out, it would seem the winds of change were blowing around the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

That was before they roared back from a three-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins then won the game in overtime.

The comeback was complete, and the Bruins had won the series.

The Bruins are only two years removed from a Stanley Cup championship. But they were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round last year and it looked like that might happen again after the Leafs fell behind in the series three-games-to-one only to force a seventh game.

Another opening-round loss in a decisive must-win game could’ve meant major changes.

Instead, the Bruins will advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they will play the New York Rangers.

“That was a huge win, obviously. We knew that if we lost this one it might have meant the end of this group,” said Bruins’ forward Milan Lucic, as per Joe Haggerty of



It’s official: Bruins face the Rangers in Original Six match-up

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers

It wasn’t easy and, in fact, it looked next to impossible.

But the Boston Bruins have moved past the Toronto Maple Leafs and will now play the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs.

The Bruins were down three goals just before the midway point of the third period, but came storming back to beat the Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime of Game 7 on Monday night.

The Rangers went into Washington and crushed the Capitals by a final score of 5-0 in Game 7, setting up an Original Six match-up with the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Bruins had a 1-0-2 record against the Rangers during the regular season.

The other second-round series in the East has the Pittsburgh Penguins, the top team in the conference, going up against the scrappy Ottawa Senators.


Discuss: Bruins’ incredible comeback pushes them past Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

It looked like after nine years between postseason series, the Toronto Maple Leafs would stick around for a little bit longer. The Boston Bruins had other plans.

Maple Leafs blueliner Cody Franson scored twice, former Bruins forward Phil Kessel added his fourth marker of the series early in the third period, and 22-year-old Nazem Kadri gave Toronto a 4-1 lead.

But the Bruins surged with three unanswered goals in the final 10:42 minutes of regulation, including markers by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron just 31 seconds apart in the dying minutes of the third period. Boston took that momentum into overtime and sent Toronto home.

Here are the talking points:

  • Through 40 minutes, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had already logged an unreal 22:10 minutes. The next highest on either team after two periods was Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf with 18:22 minutes. That’s partially due to the fact that Dennis Seidenberg suffered an undisclosed injury and was limited to 37 seconds. Chara went on to lead both teams with 35:46 minutes.
  • The Boston Bruins absolutely dominated on the draw during this game with a 70% success rate.
  • Bruins coach Claude Julien has been criticized lately for his reluctance to mix up his lines, but CSN New England noted that he did try swapping Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr tonight.
  • With three goals in this series, Franson scored more often than every Leafs player except for Kessel. Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul matched Franson’s three goals in this series.
  • Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored a postseason goal for the first time in his NHL career. Kadri also found the back of the net for the first time in the playoffs.

Video — PHT Extra: Caps-Rangers, Bruins-Leafs Game 7 previews

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals hits Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers into the boards at Madison Square Garden on February 17, 2013 in New York City.
(February 16, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Tonight promises to be a good one as a pair of do-or-die contests go in Boston and Washington.

The Leafs and Bruins will do battle at TD Garden, this after Toronto rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7.

At Verizon, the Caps and Rangers will meet in a Game 7 for the second consecutive year — last postseason, the two met in the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Rangers winning, 2-1.

In advance of both games, Brough and I broke down all the storylines and keys to the games.

Have a look, won’t you?

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!