BOSTON -- With the Boston Bruins hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at TD Garden, it's the first time the teams have faced each other since the historic Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last spring. On May 13, the Bruins erased a three-goal deficit with less than 10 minutes to play in regulation, including a pair of goals in a 31-second span to tie the game at 4-4 in the final 90 seconds of the third period. The Bruins' Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winner in overtime.
A moment in the second period of that game was the beginning of Boston's momentum swing, though it was difficult to see it that way at the time. Boston trailed 2-1 when the Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf took a swing at the Bruins' Milan Lucic. Lucic challenged the Toronto captain, but Phaneuf backed down and Lucic was assessed a two-minute penalty for roughing at 13:02 of the second period. Lucic was livid in the penalty box and it woke him up.
"It was before the intermission, too, so yeah I was definitely fired up," Lucic said after the Bruins' morning skate on Saturday. "You had that feeling, especially for myself not having a good regular season in those 48 games, you didn't want it to end and you felt like there was a lot more in this dressing room. That's why I was fired up after something like that."
Toronto quickly scored twice at the beginning of the third period to gain a 4-1 lead and all seemed lost for the Bruins. But the Bruins' Nathan Horton scored at 9:18 of the third to cut the deficit to two goals.
Lucic scored at 18:38 and Bergeron tied it at 4-4 at 19:09. The rest is history. And it all started with Lucic's penalty.
"It seemed like it brought a little bit of emotion back to our team because it felt like a bit of a dead game on our end," explained Lucic. "You've got to give them credit, the way Toronto played in that Game 7. They didn't give us many chances in the first 50 minutes and we weren't able to get anything going."