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Strader discusses Monday's Maple Leafs-Bruins classic

NBC Sports Network NHL announcer and Glens Falls native Dave Strader is back in Boston today. He will have the call of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Bruins and New York Rangers tonight at 7:30 on NBCSN.

Strader was on the call of Monday's classic between the Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs were up, 4-1, in the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, and they appeared ready to advance to the next round.

But a stunning turn of events helped the Bruins rally for a 5-4 overtime win. Nathan Horton pulled the Bruins to within two on a goal at 9:18. Then, with goalie Tuukka Rask pulled for an extra attacker, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored to send the game into OT. Bergeton scored just over six minutes into OT to win it.

I spoke to Strader on Wednesday about the game. Like most everyone, he thought the game was over when Nazem Kadris goal at 5:29 of the third gave the Leafs a 4-1 lead.

"Sometimes, a game unfolds early on, and you it's something special," said Strader, who called Game 1 of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh Eastern semifinal Tuesday in Pittsburgh. "That's what is great about playoff hockey. Other times, a game can go from nothing to changing so dramatically. Hockey is unique in just the way the game is played, and the way the game is scored. You usually don't see runs like you do in basketball. There are momentum swings in hockey, but you don't usually see scoring swings we saw the other night."

Strader, who was the voice of the Adirondack Red Wings, stopped short of saying it was the best game he ever called.

"The Winter Classic, when I filled in for Doc [Mike Emrick] at Wrigley Field, was exciting," Strader said. "I've done every Stanley Cup final for the NHL's international feed since '97. Watching Detroit win that Cup in '97 when they hadn't won since '55, [Vladimir] Konstantinov being brought out to celebrate the Cup the next year in '98, Ray Bourque's Cup [with Colorado in 2001], there's just been a lot of them.

"But I don't think I've ever seen a game in any setting just go from what we thought we had to what we ended up with in such short period of time. It was so unique, and probably will remain that way for a number of years, if not decades."

Strader and "Inside the Glass" analyst Brian Engblom will be on the call the entire Rangers-Bruins series.

I'll have more on Strader's thoughts on Monday's dramatic game in my Behind the Broadcast column Saturday.

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