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It Was 4-1: Remembering the Bruins' improbable Game 7 comeback over the Maple Leafs

Greg M. Cooper / Reuters

Two years ago Wednesday, the Boston Bruins staged a historic rally to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The Bruins scored three goals in a span of less than 10 minutes in the third period, erasing a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Leafs 5-4 in overtime.

Boston forwards Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic scored to cut the Leafs' lead to 4-3, and Patrice Bergeron tied the game with 50 seconds left in regulation.

Bergeron capped off the comeback with the game-winning goal in overtime.

"It's one of the craziest (games) I've ever been a part of," Bergeron told reporters after the game. "We found a way. Not necessarily the way we would have liked to play the whole game, but we showed some character."

Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said the comeback was inexcusable.

"We let a team that was down and out back in the game. That shouldn't happen."

Nazem Kadri scored the goal that gave the Leafs a 4-1 lead at the 5:29 mark of the third period. He tried to focus on the big picture.

"You’ve got to give us a little bit of credit," Kadri said. "You can't just take all the negative. A lot of people, the predictions were we would finish 14th or 15th in the Eastern Conference this year and now look what we did."

Toronto was making its first NHL playoff appearance in nine years, but ultimately it was the Bruins who etched their names into the record books.

Boston became the first team in league history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Bergeron became the first player to score a tying goal with less than a minute to go in regulation and then a game-winner in Game 7 of a playoff series.

The Bruins returned to the postseason in 2014, advancing to the second round before losing to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games. They finished two points out of a playoff spot in 2015 and general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired four days into the offseason.

The Leafs have not played a playoff game since the Game 7 collapse versus the Bruins. Toronto finished with the fourth-worst record in the NHL in 2014-15.

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