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Maple Leafs suffer another playoff collapse to Bruins

James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after a Boston Bruins goal from Jake DeBrusk (second left) in the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. AFP
James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after a Boston Bruins goal from Jake DeBrusk (second left) in the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. AFP

Maple Leafs suffer another playoff collapse to Bruins

Boston forward Jake DeBrusk scored his second goal in a four-goal third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs suffered another Game 7 playoff collapse against the Bruins on Wednesday.

American DeBrusk delivered on offence as the Bruins rallied to stun the Maple Leafs 7-4 and punch their ticket to the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs.

This is the second time in five years the Bruins have sent the Leafs crashing out of the post-season by erasing third-period deficits.

In the 2013 playoffs, the Leafs led the Bruins 4-1 late in Game 7 and wound up losing in overtime after Boston scored four unanswered goals.

There were a handful of players on each team that played in that 2013 contest.

The 21-year-old DeBrusk wasn’t one of them. He scored his second 5:25 into the third, outskating Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner and getting a shot off that snuck through the legs of Danish goaltender Frederik Andersen.

DeBrusk, the son of former NHLer Louie DeBrusk, also tied the game 1-1 in the first period in front of a crowd of 17,500 at the Boston Garden arena.

“That was amazing,” said Bruins leader Patrice Bergeron of DeBrusk’s performance. “I have talked all year long about our young guys. They are special kids. Jake looked like a veteran for Game 7.”

Tuukka Rask stopped 20 of 24 shots for Boston, which will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in another best-of-seven Eastern Conference series starting on Saturday.

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