Jake DeBrusk watched the tiebreaking goal go into the net from ice level, sliding into the boards on his backside after he was flattened by Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner.
The Bruins rookie didn't even have time to climb up off his knees before he was mobbed by teammates.
"Jake had a real coming-out party in the series," coach Bruce Cassidy said after DeBrusk scored twice to help Boston beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 on Wednesday night and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"He scored going to the net, dirty areas," said Cassidy, whose team opens the second round against the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday. "That's always the first thing: play inside, be willing to get hit, fight for your space. That's playoff hockey. They weren't freebies. They've been real greasy, as advertised."
Five years after rallying from a three-goal, third-period deficit and beating Toronto in Game 7 of their first-round series, the Bruins again scored four straight goals to eliminate the Maple Leafs. After Kasperi Kapanen put Toronto ahead 4-3 with a shorthanded goal in the second, Torey Krug tied it, DeBrusk gave Boston the lead with 14:35 to play.
"For entertainment value, that was probably one of the better Game 7s you'll see," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who stopped just 20 of 24 shots. "It was only a one-goal game going into the third and we shut it down and scored some good goals."
Danton Heinen scored his first NHL postseason goal, Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists, and David Krejci had three assists for the Bruins. In his first NHL postseason action, DeBrusk had seven points in seven games.
"Uh, it went pretty well," he said with a laugh. "Obviously, with the win it was special — something I'll never forget. I'll never forget this series just in general, first playoffs. I was really happy to contribute."
• Evgeni Malkin will miss his second game in a row when the Penguins play Game 1 of their second-round playoff series Thursday night in Washington. Malkin, who led the Penguins in goals (46) and points (98) during the regular season, missed Game 6 of Pittsburgh's opening-round win over Philadelphia because of a lower-body injury.