PATRICE BERGERON tied it with 51 seconds left in regulation then scored the game-winner 6:05 into overtime last night to give Boston a 5-4 victory over the visiting Maple Leafs in Game 7 as the Bruins turned back Toronto's comeback with a rally of their own.
Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for Boston, which led the best-of-seven series 3-1 before the Maple Leafs won two in a row to force a seventh game.
Toronto opened a 4-1 lead in the third period of the decisive game, but Boston cut the deficit to two midway through the third period and then scored twice in the final 82 seconds to force overtime.
James Reimer made 30 saves for the Maple Leafs. Cody Franson scored twice, and former Bruin Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for Toronto.
The Bruins will play the New York Rangers in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, beginning Thursday.
The win completed a whipsaw of a weekend for Boston, which won Games 3 and 4 in Toronto last week to put the Maple Leafs on the brink of elimination, but failed to clinch at home on Friday and again in Game 6 when the series returned to the Air Canada Centre.
The Bruins found out during the game that their plane had mechanical difficulties, so they returned to their Toronto hotel and flew back to Boston yesterday morning, just hours before the game.
They appeared tired in the early part of the game, spotting Toronto a 4-1 lead on Nazem Kadri's goal at 5:29 of the third period.
But Nathan Horton brought Boston within two goals and then Milan Lucic and Bergeron scored 31 seconds apart in the final 1:22 after the Bruins pulled Rask for an extra skater.
In another Game 7 *
At Washington, led by Henrik Lundqvist's 35 saves in a second consecutive shutout, the New York Rangers beat the Capitals, 5-0, to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals.
New York contained Alex Ovechkin again and completed its comeback after trailing in the series 2-0 and 3-2 - the latest in Washington's long history of playoff collapses.
It is the first time New York won a Game 7 on the road in its history.
Veteran coach Mike Keenan has signed a 2-year contract to coach the Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.