After surging to a 3-1 lead in their first-round NHL playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins — the team with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and fourth-best in the league — face the prospect of an upset as they play Game Seven at home, a game that will live stream from Boston on Wednesday.
The Leafs evened the series, hanging on for a surprising 4-3 win in Boston in Game Five, and then taking Game Six at home 3-1 behind a nearly impenetrable performance in goal by 28-year-old Danish goaltender Frederik Andersen, who strangled a relentless Bruins attack, stopping 32 of the 33 shots on goal he faced.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Playoffs first-round Game Seven, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. The puck drops at 17,500-seat TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 4:30 Pacific, on Wednesday, April 25.
Over Games Five and Six, Andersen saved 74 of 78 shots, as his team frustrated the Bruins on seven of eight power play opportunities.
Though the Bruins finished with 112 points, seven better than Toronto in the regular season, the Leafs took three of the four regular season meetings between the two Original Six clubs in the 2017-2018 campaign. A win in Game Seven would give Toronto its first playoff series victory since 2004, when they defeated the Ottawa Senators in another seven-game, first-round matchup.
Despite the fact that his heavily favored team now faces the possibility of blowing a 3-1 series lead and an early exit from the NHL playoffs for the second straight year, Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy says that his players have remained on an even keel heading into Wednesday's do-or-die contest.
"I don't think there's any panic at all in this group," Cassidy told the NHL website. "We have to outplay Toronto for 60 minutes. I think we've done it for long stretches early in the series. Recently I think we've done it in the games we've lost, we've outplayed them. But we've got to do it for a full 60 minutes. That's usually the team that's going to win."
But for Boston to have a chance of securing a second-round berth, they will need better performances from the trio that makes up the Bruins' first line — center Patrice Bergeron and wingers Brad Marchand, an All Star this season, and David Pastrnak.
In the Bruins' three losses, that group has not registered a single point.
"Everyone just needs to go out there and play and step up their game up and rely on everybody else to do the same. Do your job, I guess, is kind of the cliche, but that's how you have to approach (a Game 7)," Bergeron told ESPN.
The Bruins, who won the 2011 Stanley Cup and reached the Cup Finals again in 2013, are looking for their first playoff series win since 2014.
To watch a live stream of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins NHL Playoffs first-round Game Seven, go to NBC Sports Live Extra at this link, or download the NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices, and on set-top devices such as the Roku and Apple TV. The NBC Sports streaming service requires cable or satellite service subscriber login credentials.
To watch the decisive Toronto vs. Boston playoff showdown stream live for free without a cable subscription, fans should sign up for a free trial of an "over the top" streaming TV package, such as Sling TV at this link, or YouTube TV at this link. Both services require credit card information and subscription fees — but each offers a seven-day free trial, and if the subscription is cancelled prior to the expiration of that weeklong period, fans can watch the Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Game Seven live stream for free.