The Boston Bruins are advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, their first since 2013. After a hard-fought sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston will now have reached the finals for the 20th time in their history.
All About That Line
It was a night that belonged to not only the Finnish brick wall that is Tuukka Rask, but to Boston’s formidable “perfection line”. David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board when he tipped in a power-play goal fed from his line-mate Brad Marchand early in the second. Patrice Bergeron notched in the second power-play goal of the night, after a pass from Pastrnak. Later in the third, Bergeron once again had a snapshot towards an open Carolina net after a pass from Pastrnak. The nail in the coffin came by way of Brad Marchand when he netted an empty-net goal late in the third, making the final score of 4-0, completing the sweep. That top line combined for eight points in last night’s win.
“The last few games, we knew we could be a little bit better than what we’ve been. With the situation we’ve been in, being up 3-0, everyone in the room wanted to be at their best”Bruins Forward Brad Marchand
The Bruins 20th appearance in the Stanley Cup Final is fourth in the league. They join Montreal, Detroit and Toronto. There are also a few Bruins players that will be making a third appearance in the Finals with the club: Bergeron, Chara, Krejci, Marchand and Rask. Last night’s win also marks the teams’ seventh straight postseason win.
It’s Tuukka Time
Rask continued his brilliance in net, stopping 109 of the 114 shots he faced this series. He also made 24 stops last night in the 4-0 shutout, and has now surpassed both Gerry Cheevers and Tim Thomas for most series-clinching shutouts in B’s history. He is now also ranked first in the NHL postseason among goalies for goals-against-average (1.84) with a .942 save percentage. Rask is now the seventh goalie in NHL history to have a win in more than eight appearances in the Conference Finals.
“Tuukka’s been very consistent. If you’re gonna get on a roll, your goaltender’s gonna have to be there for you… he can’t have a bad night if you’re gonna string together that many wins.”Head Coach Bruce Cassidy
Bergeron’s night of power-play goals have him ranked second in Bruins post-season history to Cam Neely’s nine in 1991. He is also fifth in Bruins history to have the most postseason goals with 39, surpassing Peter McNab.
Zdeno Chara rested last night after it was reported he was suffering from an undisclosed injury. The Captain, however, did not miss the opportunity to join his team on the ice after the win. Coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the concern about Chara’s injury and has stated the 42-year-old defenseman should be ready to go in Game 1.
As San Jose and St. Louis continue their series in the Western Conference, the Boston Bruins will be enjoying some time off, which hasn’t been typical for this team. No official times have been set for the Stanley Cup Final, however more than likely it’ll start the last week of May.