Maple Leafs & Bruins Add to NHL Game 7 History – The Hockey Writers – Toronto Maple Leafs

In the Boston Bruins’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the two teams added to the rich NHL Playoff history of Game 7.

With the Bruins victory, this marks the first time since 2018 that each of the top three teams from a conference, based on standings points, will play in the second round. That year, the top three clubs in both the Eastern and Western Conference played in the round of eight.

The Bruins have won each of the last seven playoff series against the Maple Leafs, dating back to the 1969 Quarterfinal (4-0 Bruins). They are one of three teams to win seven consecutive playoff series against one franchise. The others are the Montreal Canadiens against the Bruins (18 from 1946 to 1987) and the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals (seven from 1995 to 2017).

Of all the stats about Game 7, the one that was probably the most important to the teams was the one they broke tonight, as both teams were looking to end a stretch of consecutive Game 7 defeats: Boston is 0-3 since the 2019 Stanley Cup Final (0-2 at home), while Toronto is 0-5 since the 2013 Conference Quarterfinals (0-3 on road, all at Boston).

Tyler Bertuzzi Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyler Bertuzzi of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates past Jake DeBrusk of the Boston Bruins during the second period of game six of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Even before the puck dropped, the two teams took part in the 195th Game 7 in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. They are also the first franchises in NHL history to require a Game 7 in at least four consecutive head-to-head playoff series. The only others to go the distance in at least three straight meetings are the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames (1989 DSF, 1994 CQF, 2004 CQF) and the Capitals and New York Rangers (2012 CSF, 2013 CQF, 2015 R2).

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Hub

The Bruins and Maple Leafs have already played more Game 7s than any other franchises, with this set to be their 31st and 27th such contests all-time, respectively. Both clubs rank among the top four all-time in Game 7 wins: Montreal (15-9 in 24 GP), Boston (15-15 in 30 GP), Detroit (14-11 in 25 GP), and Toronto (12-14 in 26 GP).

Game 7 Milestones

The Maple Leafs and Bruins combined to produce the 11th scoreless Game 7 through two periods in Stanley Cup Playoff history. This continues a trend in which since the final contest was played on Tuesday (NSH at VAN, Game 5), the score has been tied or within one goal for 94% of playing time across six games (338:54 of 360:00). Only three teams have had a multi-goal lead in that span, for a combined total of 21:06 (EDM: 18:35, TOR: 2:12 & VGK: 0:19).

When William Nylander scored the first goal, it should have been a good omen for the Maple Leafs as the team that scores first in all-time Game 7s own an all-time record of 147-47 (.758), including a 4-0 mark in 2023.

Nylander scored his second career goal in a Game 7 (also 2021 R1). Only four players have more with the Maple Leafs: Wendel Clark (six), Alexander Mogilny (four), Dave Keon (four) and Doug Gilmour (three). He became the 15th player to score 20 career playoff goals with the Maple Leafs. Auston Matthews (23) is the only other active player on that list.

When the game went to overtime, it became the third consecutive year an opening-round Game 7 required overtime, marking the second-longest stretch over the past 20 years behind a four-year run from 2011-2014.

David Pastrnak scored 1:54 into extra time to establish the third-fastest overtime goal in a Game 7 in NHL history. The only teams to score faster were Calgary in the 2004 Conference Quarterfinals (1:25) and Boston in the 1983 Division Finals (1:52).

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