Generations of Greater Boston youth hockey players grew up imagining themselves scoring the very goal Bruins right winger Nathan Horton planted last night at TD Garden.

Horton scored the winning goal in overtime in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup series against the Montreal Canadiens before a rabid house that had grown accustomed to going home disappointed.

Horton took a pass from linemate Milan Lucic at 5:43 of the extra period and fired a slap shot from above the left circle that eluded Montreal goalie Carey Price for his third of the series. Incredibly, the blast was Horton's only shot on goal in the game.

The Bruins advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to play the Philadelphia Flyers in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday (3) at the Wells Fargo Center.

"It was pretty nice and I felt pretty good," said Horton. "I don't remember too much, but I remember Looch coming up with the puck and I was trying to get open. I just tried and put the puck toward the net and luckily it got deflected off somebody and went in. That's all I remember about (the goal), but it was pretty special and it doesn't get any better.

"I've imagined this, you know, I haven't been in any (type of) playoff for a long time and I've had a lot of time to think about it," said Horton. "It's definitely better than I imagined. It's fun to be here and it's exciting."

Horton enjoyed a similar feeling of accomplishment when he potted the overtime winner in the Bruins 5-4 double overtime victory at the Garden last Saturday.

The significance of scoring the two defining goals of his NHL career in the span of five days against the Bruins' ancient rival was not lost on Horton. For a guy who arrived in town from Florida with a blank resume in the playoffs, Horton entrenched himself in B's folklore with one splendid slap shot.