The Bruins are 12-11 all-time when it’s winner-take-all in in Game 7 of a playoff series, the most famous being their victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the deciding game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Tonight, they face another Game 7 situation in their first-round playoff series vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite taking a 3-1 lead in the series, the Bruins were unable to force the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs, and Toronto fought its way back in Games 5 and 6 to tie the series. The Bruins will play on home ice tonight in hopes of extending their season to round two.
Scroll through the gallery to review the Bruins' performances in decisive playoff games. Next
April 25, 2012: Capitals 2, Bruins 1 (OT): Last year's first-round ended in disappointment for the Bruins when Game 7 against Washington ended with a overtime series-ending goal netted by Capitals ring wing Joel Ward. The Capitals took advantage of a bad line change, forced a shot and Ward scored on a rebound 2 minutes, 57 seconds into overtime to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 win.
The loss ended the Bruins’ defense of their 2011 Stanley Cup title. Boston forced a Game 7 with a 4-3 victory in overtime in Game 6.
For Washington, the win was marred by a barrage of postgame racial epithets directed at Ward, who is black, on Twitter. Next
June 15, 2011: Bruins 4, Canucks 0: The Bruins’ most famous Game 7 earned them hockey’s greatest prize. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron both scored two goals, and goalie Tim Thomas was the playoffs MVP as the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
The Bruins won Game 6 at home to force Game 7 in Vancouver, where they had dropped Games 1, 2 and 5. But the deciding game of the series was dominated by the Bruins.
Immediately after the game, veteran Mark Recchi (pictured) retired. Next
May 27, 2011: Bruins 1, Lightning 0: Bruins right winger Nathan Horton (right) scored with 7:33 left in the third period as the Bruins defeated Tampa Bay, 1-0, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden. The goal sent the Bruins into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 21 years.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of the series. The Bruin would go on to another Game 7 in this year's playoffs, but came out victorious against the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. Next
April 27, 2011: Bruins 4, Canadiens 3 (OT): After falling behind, 2-0, in their first-round playoff series, the Bruins won the next three to take a 3-2 lead. But Montreal won Game 6 in Canada and set up a decisive game in Boston.
The Canadiens got a goal from P.K. Subban with 1:57 left in the third to send it to overtime tied 3-3, but Nathan Horton beat Canadiens goalie Carey Price with a blast at 5:43 of OT to lift the Bruins. Next
May 14, 2010: Flyers 4, Bruins 3: The Flyers were down both 3-0 in the series and Game 7, but rallied for one of the great comebacks in sports history at TD Garden.
Milan Lucic scored two goals, both in the first period, to put the Bruins ahead. However, James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal of the postseason to make it 3-1. In the second period, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere tied it up. And finally, Bruins killer Simon Gagne put the Flyers up for good at 12:52 in the third. Next
May 14, 2009: Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2 (OT): Scott Walker was already a villain to Bruins fans, having sucker-punched defenseman Aaron Ward earlier in the series. So it was especially galling when he scored the series winner against Tim Thomas as the Hurricanes prevailed.
Milan Lucic had tied the score for the Bruins at 2-2 in the second period. The Hurricanes led the conference semifinal series 3-1 after four games, but Boston won Game 5, 4-0, and Game 6 on the road, 4-2. Next
April 21, 2008: Canadiens 5, Bruins 0: Andrei Kostitsyn (left) had two goals in Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens had taken a 3-1 series lead, but the Bruins staved off elimination in Game 5 with a 5-1 victory, then edged the Canadiens, 5-4, in Game 6 before getting shut out in Montreal in the deciding game. Next
April 19, 2004: Canadiens 2, Bruins 0: The looks on the faces of coach Mike Sullivan and the Bruins' bench told the story as the final seconds elapsed. The Canadiens had been down 3-1 in the series, but won the final three games convincingly. Montreal goalie Jose Theodore pitched a shutout in Game 7 to seal it. Next
April 29, 1994: Bruins 5, Canadiens 3: Ted Donato (at right in 1995 vs. the Maple Leafs) had a goal and an assist to help the Bruins clinch the first-round series.
The teams were tied, 2-2, after four games, and the Bruins faced elimination in Game 6 after Montreal won the fifth game to take a 3-2 series lead. But the Bruins won Game 6 by a 3-2 score.
The Bruins lost in the next round of the playoffs to the Devils. Next
May 1, 1992: Bruins 3, Sabres 2: Dave Reid (pictured in 1996 vs. Calgary) scored the winning goal for the Bruins in the division semifinal series. The Bruins had a 3-1 lead in the series before the Sabres won the next two, 2-0 and 9-3.
The Sabres outshot the Bruins, 29-22, in Game 7, but goalie Andy Moog was up to the challenge. Next
April 29, 1991: Bruins 2, Canadiens 1: Cam Neely (pictured in 1995) scored the winning goal to lift the Bruins in the division finals at Boston Garden. The Bruins took a 3-2 series lead, but then the Canadiens won Game 6 in overtime, 3-2.
However, Montreal couldn't overcome Moog (35 saves) and the Bruins, who beat the Canadiens in a Game 7 for the first time in their history. Next
April 17, 1990: Bruins 3, Whalers 1: The Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1990, but nearly didn't get past their first round against the Hartford Whalers (pictured in 1996), their former Adams Division rivals.
The Bruins won a crucial Game 4, 6-5, after falling behind, 5-2, then seized the advantage in Game 5 with a 3-2 victory. Hartford won Game 6 in overtime, 3-2, before the Bruins closed out the series.
The Bruins went on to defeat the Canadiens in the division finals and the Capitals in the conference finals before losing to Edmonton, 4-1, in the Stanley Cup Final. Next
After losing to the Capitals in Game 7 of a first-round series in 2012, the Bruins were 12-11 in Game 7s. Here's how they've done in Game 7s before 1990.
May 14, 1988: Bruins 6, Devils 2
April 24, 1983: Bruins 3, Sabres 2 (OT)
April 25, 1982: Nordiques 2, Bruins 1
May 10, 1979: Canadiens 5, Bruins 4
April 25, 1976: Bruins 3, Kings 0 Back to the beginning
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