Phil Kessel nearly lifted Maple Leafs into second round

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Phil Kessel has heard the taunts from Bruins fans, “Thank You, Kessel” chants that reference the trade that enabled the Bruins to draft Tyler Seguin in 2010.

But Kessel had a big series for the Maple Leafs, and his fourth goal of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals gave Toronto a 3-1 lead early in the third period of Game 7 Monday night at TD Garden. A little over three minutes later, Kessel assisted on the goal that pushed the Leafs’ advantage to 4-1.

The Leafs thought they were en route to the second round. Then the Bruins turned the tables to force overtime, and pulled out a 5-4 victory.

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