May 12, 2013
Maple Leafs force deciding game against Bruins
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf (left)celebrates his goal with Phil Kessel during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in Toronto, May 12, 2013. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - For the captain, the goal was one of redemption, not just for himself but for his Toronto Maple Leafs teammates who have given so much in the franchise’s uplifting return to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

For leading scorer Phil Kessel, it was arguably the biggest goal of his career, a game-winner that nearly brought the Air Canada Centre house down.

After a gigantic 2-1 win here Sunday night, the Leafs are shipping up to Boston for one of sport’s ultimate moments, a Game 7 to decide the best-of-seven quarterfinal series with the Bruins.

Phaneuf’s opening score, 1:48 into the third period, cut the tension inherent to an elimination game and sent the Leafs on their way.

Kessel’s big rebound goal at 8:59 gave the Leafs the breathing room they would need as the

“I felt I owed it to the guys,” said Phaneuf, who cruised towards the Bruins net when he saw Nazem Kadri make a nifty move, then deflect the shot past Tuukka Rask. “It was a mistake I didn’t feel too good about."



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