A pair of decisive Game 7s were on the NHL slate Tuesday, and the first saw the Bruins taking down the Maple Leafs in Boston ... again. The last three postseason meetings between these teams has gone the distance, with the Bruins taking the finale at home in each of those instances. The Bruins won the final two games of the series to stun Toronto.
The nightcap featured the Golden Knights in San Jose in the final game of the series against the Sharks, and that game turned out to be an instant classic. Vegas held a 3-0 lead in the third period, but the Sharks stormed back on a five-minute power play and scored four unanswered goals in rapid succession. The Knights would go on to tie the game in the final minute to force overtime, but the Sharks clinched the series with a goal from Barclay Goodrow.
It was an insane night of hockey, and we still have another Game 7 on Wednesday.
NHL games for Tuesday, April 23
- Game 7: FINAL - Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 1 (Bruins win series 4-3) | Box score
- Game 7: FINAL - Sharks 5, Golden Knights 4 (Sharks win series 4-3) | Box score
San Jose caps incredible comeback in OT
Holy moly, what a game. The Sharks capped off an incredible comeback in the game and in the series, beating Vegas 18 minutes into overtime. Barclay Goodrow didn't get much run in OT but he scored the game-winner to clinch the series for the Sharks, who will move on to face the Avalanche.
Sharks storm back after controversial penalty
Oh my goodness, what a finish in San Jose. After the Golden Knights increased their lead to 3-0 with a goal from Max Pacioretty, a controversial incident help sparked an incredible Sharks comeback. Cody Eakin was given a five-minute major for cross-checking Joe Pavelski, who landed awkwardly and was injured on the play.
The five-minute major seemed to be a result of Pavelski's injuries rather than the severity of the infraction, but the ruling completely changed the game. The penalty created a major swing and the Sharks promptly scored four goals on the power play to take a 4-3 lead.
They held that lead until the final minute of regulation, when Jonathan Marchessault netted the equalizer for Vegas with the goalie pulled and the extra skater on the ice.
That goal somehow made this crazy game even crazier, and now we're heading to overtime in a Game 7. Buckle up.
Vegas goes up by two, but with some controversy
The Sharks are fighting for their playoff lives against the Golden Knights, but Vegas went up by two goals during the middle frame -- possibly with the help of the officials. Knights forward Cody Eakin tipped a point shot past Martin Jones, but he may have done so with his stick above the height of the crossbar. The call on the ice was a goal, and a video review determined there wasn't definitive evidence to overturn that ruling.
As a result, Vegas carries a 2-0 lead into the final period of regulation.
Knights get the jump on the road
Time for our second Game 7 of the night! The Golden Knights were outshot 11-4 by the Sharks in the first period, but it's Vegas leading after 20 minutes. The Knights got the game's opening goal when William Karlsson chipped a loose puck past Martin Jones for the 1-0 lead.
Bruins prevail ... again
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Another Game 7 between the Bruins and Leafs, another win for the Bruins in Boston. After weathering a furious second-period push from the Leafs, the Bruins added an insurance goal early in the third period when fourth-liner Sean Kuraly sniped a shot past Frederik Andersen.
The Bruins held off the Leafs the rest of the way, adding two empty net goals to seal the win, 5-1. As a result, Boston moves on to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round, and the Leafs head home with a third consecutive first round postseason exit.
Toronto pushing back
After a rough ending to the first period, the Leafs came out flying in the second period and dominated the Bruins from start to finish. The good news for the Bruins is that Toronto only managed one goal -- a tally from John Tavares that came off a John Moore turnover.
Scoring chances in the second period were 19-7 in favor of Toronto, so the Bruins are lucky to still be leading after two. We're in for a thrilling finish.
Not an ideal start for the Leafs
After a good first few minutes to open the game, the Bruins were forced to weather a pretty dangerous storm from the Leafs, who had a number of solid scoring chances through 10-15 minutes. But Tuukka Rask stood tall in net for Boston and the Bruins were able to jump out to an early lead thanks to this goal from Joakim Nordstrom.
That's certainly a goal that Frederik Andersen shouldn't be giving up, and it's a tough spot to allow it. Boston doubled down a few minutes later when Marcus Johansson took advantage of a turnover from Jake Gardiner behind the Leafs' net