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April 28, 2011

Heroic Horton embraces overtime pressure

BOSTON — Game 7.

The Boston Bruins had been in this situation each of the previous three years and four of the previous seven. This year, however, turned out incredibly different.

And it was a guy who hadn't been around for those four hugely disappointing losses who provided the joy.

Nathan Horton, who arrived in town last June soon after Boston's historic collapse in last year's Eastern conference semifinal loss to Philadelphia, sent the B's back to the semis — against those same Flyers — with the game-winning goal 5:43 into overtime.

The 4-3 win over Montreal was the second straight game at the TD Garden that Horton scored in overtime. He gave Boston a Game 3 victory in the second overtime.

"It was pretty nice," Horton said of his one-timer from the top of the left circle. "It felt pretty good. I really don't remember too much, I just remember Milan (Lucic) getting it to me and sending it to the net."

It was Horton's third goal of the series. This after never scoring in 38 previous playoff games during his six-year stint with the Florida Panthers.

"I'm really enjoying it," said Horton, who scored 26 goals in the regular season. "Every day's a new day, but you can get used to this. It's better than I imagined."

Recchi climbs record books

Boston appeared to have matters in hand when Mark Recchi put the B's ahead 2-0 with 14:21 left in the opening period. Recchi's 57th career playoff goal came two minutes after a Johnny Boychuk score. Recchi, who has played 171 postseason games, ranks second among active players, one goal behind Mike Modano. Recchi also ranks third in points with 137 behind only Detroit teammates Niklas Lidstrom (177) and Modano (145).

Boychuk snaps dubious streak

Johnny Boychuk scored his first goal of the series and third in his 20-game career at the 3:31 mark of the first. That snapped Boston's Game 7 scoreless streak against the Canadiens which had lasted nearly 139 minutes.

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