During the first two playoff runs of his fledgling NHL career, Kasperi Kapanen has already tallied a pair of the biggest goals in the recent history of the Maple Leafs.
His latest, a shorthanded goal to put Toronto up 4-3 during the second period of Game 7 in Boston, was an eye-popping display of foot speed, skill and finish.
The latter has been hard to come by for Kapanen in this series, until Wednesday night.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 26, 2018
After completely out-hustling Brad Marchand and using a strong shoulder to gain inside position on the Bruins’ MVP, Kapanen busted down on his fourth breakaway of the series and put a handful of nifty moves on Tuukka Rask before sliding in, what has a chance to be, an iconic goal for Toronto.
The kid apparently has a knack for scoring big goals, netting the winner for Finland in overtime of the 2016 World Juniors Gold Medal game, followed by a huge double-OT marker in Game 2 against the Capitals during his first sniff last April.
Adding even more to the moment, Kapanen’s tally was the first shorthanded goal by a Leaf in a Game 7 since Dave Keon potted one against the Red Wings in 1964 — three years before the franchise’s last Stanley Cup.
He’s also the youngest player in NHL history to score at a man disadvantage in a Game 7.