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story.lead_photo.caption Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (left) celebrates his goal with left wing Marcus Johansson during the first period Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto. Marchand had two goals and an assist as the Bruins won 4-2 to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

TORONTO -- Facing elimination, Boston didn't panic when it fell behind halfway through the first period. The Bruins kept their focus, quickly tied it and took the lead, and then held off the Toronto Maple Leafs to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

Brad Marchand had two goals and an assist as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 4-2 on Sunday.

"We just knew there was a lot of game left," Marchand said. "We've come from behind a lot this year. We weren't fazed. We came together, played very hard after that. We played a really good game."

Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk also scored, and David Pastrnak had two assists to help Boston avoid elimination. Tuukka Rask stopped 22 shots.

"[We] gave ourselves another opportunity for another game," Marchand said. "We got to try to replicate it. They're going to come hard. They've played really well so far in our building this series."

Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews scored for Toronto in a series neither team has managed back-to-back victories and each has won twice on the road. Frederik Andersen finished with 37 saves.

"It is what it is now," Maple Leafs forward John Tavares said. "We've still got a good chance to win this series. That's what our focus is on now. It's over with now. Obviously we'd love to get it done today. It's not the case."

The Bruins will host the deciding game on Tuesday night.

The Maple Leafs, who lost to the Bruins in seven games in both 2013 and last spring, have not advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2004.

"You try to forget the past, whether it's this series or last year's series," DeBrusk said, "and understand they're going to come out with everything they've got and so are we."

The winner of this series will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets, who got the Eastern Conference's last wild card and then swept a Tampa Bay Lightning team that tied an NHL record with 62 victories in the regular season.

Toronto, which took a 3-2 lead in the series thanks to a patient, stifling defensive performance Friday at Boston, is Canada's last hope of ending the country's 26-year Stanley Cup drought. The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets were eliminated in their first-round series.

Toronto opened the scoring at 9:42 of the opening period on Rielly's first of the playoffs. Having hit the post on an early power play, the defenseman took a pass from William Nylander and fired a one-timer short-side along the ice after the Bruins failed to clear the defensive zone.

Boston tied it on a man advantage 1:41 later when Marchand snapped his third goal of the series on a shot off a scrambled draw that hit Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey and beat Andersen between the legs.

"When the season's on the line you want to play hard, you want to leave it all out there," Marchand said. "Sometimes it bounces your way, sometimes it doesn't. Luckily today it bounced our way."

The Bruins' power play, which was held in check in Game 5, but was still 5 for 14 coming into this game, struck again with 2:58 left in the period. Krug got a rebound of Pastrnak's shot and fired a shot upstairs on Andersen for his first of the postseason.

Andersen did well to keep it a one-goal deficit late in the first by making two hockey-card caliber stops on both Patrice Bergeron and Grzelcyk.

Andersen was solid, but could do nothing on Boston's slick goal that made it 3-1. DeBrusk left the puck for David Krejci on a 2-on-2 rush before getting inside position on Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson and making a diving stab at the return feed at 7:57.

The goal was the first of the playoffs for DeBrusk, who had six goals last spring -- with five coming against Toronto, including two in Game 7.

SHARKS 2,

GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1, 2OT

LAS VEGAS -- Tomas Hertl scored a short-handed goal 11:17 into the second overtime to lift San Jose to a victory over Las Vegas, forcing a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

Just 31 seconds after Barclay Goodrow was called for slashing Brayden McNabb, it was Hertl recovering the loose puck and skating in alone and beating Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist shot to seal the victory and force the deciding game Tuesday at San Jose.

Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, and Martin Jones had a playoff career-high 58 saves. San Jose has won two consecutive after being forced to the brink of elimination to even the series.

Jonathan Marchessault scored for Vegas, and Fleury stopped 27 shots.

Jones may have saved his best performance for Game 6, coming up with big saves to keep the Sharks in the game while under rapid fire.

Both goalies came up with big saves during the first extra period, first with Fleury stopping Kevin Labanc just after the puck drop, and later when Jones stopped Max Pacioretty's one-timer with 9:57 left. But the biggest moment came with roughly three minutes left in the first overtime, when Fleury and Vegas defensemen Jon Merrill and Colin Miller combined to make several saves and keep the game going.

Sports on 04/22/2019

Print Headline: Bruins beat Leafs to force 7th game

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