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Toronto Maple Leafs' William Nylander, left, celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins with Joel Edmundson (20) during third period action in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Toronto on May 2.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The Maple Leafs won for the second straight time without Auston Matthews on Thursday to force a Game 7 in their playoff series with the Bruins. The 2-1 victory came on the anniversary of their last Stanley Cup championship 57 years ago.

It was an electric night at Scotiabank Arena. The crowd got louder with each thunderous hit, which morphed into a deafening din. William Nylander sent the place into hysterics when he slipped a long wrist shot past Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman for the game’s first goal with 55 seconds left in the second period and scored again on a breakaway with 2:13 to go in the third.

They were his first two goals of the playoffs.

From the start, the Maple Leafs dominated the Bruins completely. They bottled them up, blocked their shots and kept them at bay. Boston had one shot on net in the first period, by Jake DeBrusk with 8:20 to go.

Toronto had 12 but was unable to get one by Swayman and was failed by its power play again. A man-advantage was wasted. At that point, the Maple Leafs were 1-for-18 in the series.

They got a four-minute power play in the second and never came close to putting one in the net.

Nylander’s first goal slithered between Swayman and the post. Swayman, notably, was superb again. He had 24 saves.

The final game in the first round will be on Saturday at TD Garden, where Toronto escaped with an overtime triumph on Tuesday. Joseph Woll stopped 27 of 28 shots during that game, marking his first start of the series.

On Thursday he was almost impenetrable. He snapped pucks out of the air, did bellyflops and looked completely unbothered. He smothered 22 of 23 shots. Morgan Geekie scored Boston’s only goal with less than a second remaining.

“He hasn’t made any big mistakes and because of that we have stayed in games. He has given us confidence and we need that now,” said Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe.

This sudden rebound was unforeseen. The Maple Leafs lost all four regular-season matchups to the Bruins and fell behind in the series 3-1. They had dropped six straight playoff games at home dating back to last year. They had lost seven of eight on home in the post-season the past two years.

Somehow, they managed to win two in a row without Matthews, who led the NHL with 69 goals.

Matthews played the first three and has battled illness and injury since. He could make a return in Game 7. Toronto also was without Nylander, their second-leading scorer, for three games.

Between them, they missed one in the regular season. Combined, they have missed five games in the first round.

Matthews had a goal and three points in the first four games. Nylander, who had 40 goals and 98 points in the regular season, was without a goal until Thursday.

“That was big-time stuff,” Keefe said. “That’s what you are looking for from a player of his calibre. He was outstanding tonight.”

A year ago, the Bruins took a 3-1 lead before being knocked out by the Panthers in the opening round. Now, they face the same prospect again. The teams are facing one another for the fourth time in 11 years. Boston won the other three times, each one in seven games.

“It is special to play a Game 7,” Nylander said. “I don’t know if we have won one yet, but we’re up for the test.”

Boston coach Jim Montgomery knew the Maple Leafs would be without Matthews but was not overconfident.

“Obviously, he is a tremendous player,” he said after the morning skate. “He is the best goal-scorer in the league. But they played great without him last game.”

And they did it again.

If anything, they out-Bruined the Bruins with their season on the line. In the closing minutes they shut them down and closed it out.

Now they have a chance to win.

“I think guys have competed and worked incredibly hard and pulled together,” Keefe said. “They have fought and found ways to win.

“In my mind we just played two Game 7s. We played two elimination games. That feels like what we have gone through already.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of shots on Joseph Woll. This version has been corrected.

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