Boston never quit.
Trailing 4-1 deep into the third period of Game 7 and 4-2 with just 90 seconds to play, the Bruins were still coming at the Toronto Maple Leafs as the offseason beckoned. The resolve paid off with an incredible, game-tying, two-goal barrage in the final 82 seconds of regulation.
With 18:38 gone by in the third period, Milan Lucic pulled the Bruins within a goal. Thirty one seconds later, Patrice Bergeron tied it up. Level at 4-4 at the end of the third, fans in Boston were treated to a priceless session of free hockey. Bergeron would seal the stunning comeback with a goal in traffic with 13:55 to play in the extra period.
"It was one of the crazy ones I've been part of," Bergeron told reporters after his team's incredible 5-4 win, via The Associated Press. "We found a way, not necessarily the way we would have liked to play the whole game."
The Bruins advance to face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs while the Maple Leafs are left to wonder how they became the first NHL team ever to lose a Game 7 after holding a three-goal lead in the third period.
Via @eliassports Bruins are 1st team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by 3 goals in the third period.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 14, 2013
After the Bruins got on the scoreboard first through Matt Bartkowski in the first period, the visiting Maple Leafs took control of the winner-take-all tilt, scoring the next four goals of the game. After falling behind 3-1 in the series, the Leafs had reeled off back-to-back wins to force a Game 7. When they took control of Game 7, it appeared that the story of the series would be Toronto's comeback.
Bruins winger Nathan Horton pulled one goal back for the home team with 9:18 gone in the third. That goal seemed like window dressing, however, as the minutes continued to tick off the clock. The Leafs still led 4-2 with less than two minutes remaining. By the time those two minutes were up, this had all happened.
WATCH: Bruins Tally Three Third Period Goals To Force OT