On this day in 2004… The Leafs beat the Senators in Game 7 for their most recent playoff series win
By Cam Lewis10 months ago
Today is the 19-year anniversary of the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won a playoff series.
The Leafs were facing the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario for the fourth time in five seasons. Toronto and Ottawa finished fourth and fifth in the Eastern Conference standings respectively and were separated by only one point, so this was a coin-flip of a series between two teams that had seen a lot of each other over the years.
The Sens came into Toronto and opened up the series with a 4-2 win and the Leafs answered back with a 2-0 win to tie the series as it shifted back to Ottawa. The Leafs and Sens split the two games in the nation’s capital and Toronto won at home in Game 5 to put themselves one win away from taking the series. In Game 6 in Ottawa, Mike Fisher scored in double overtime to force a Game 7 in Toronto.
The series had been a back-and-forth rollercoaster ride up until then and Game 7 didn’t disappoint, especially for the home crowd.
Chad Kilger opened the scoring for the Leafs six minutes into the game and then Joe Nieuwendyk increased their lead to 2-0 with another goal a couple of minutes later. With 21 seconds left on the clock in the first frame, Nieuwendyk threw a puck on net that squeezed between Ottawa goaltender Patrick Lalime’s pads to give the Leafs a 3-0 lead.
Lalime was pulled after the first period and backup goaltender Martin Prusek came into the net for Ottawa. The Sens pulled themselves into the game a few seconds into the second frame thanks to a goal from Václav Varaďa but that was the only puck they would be able to get past Ed Belfour all game. Bryan McCabe scored in the third period to give Toronto a 4-1 lead and put the game out of reach.
The Leafs wound up losing in the second round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia Flyers and… here we are now.
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