Bruins shutout Hurricanes to storm into Stanley Cup Final since 2013Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 17-05-2019 09:07 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 08:42 IST
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask sent the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final with a 24-save outing Thursday night in a 4-0 victory against the host Carolina Hurricanes for a sweep of the Eastern Conference finals. Patrice Bergeron scored twice after David Pastrnak opened the scoring. The first two goals came on power plays. Pastrnak assisted on both Bergeron goals, and then Brad Marchand notched an empty-net goal with 2:17 left.
By taking the best-of-seven series in four games, the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2013, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Boston's last NHL title came in 2011. The Bruins await the winner of the Western Conference finals, in which the San Jose Sharks hold a 2-1 lead over the St. Louis Blues.
The Hurricanes hadn't been to the playoffs since 2009, and that run also ended with a sweep in the conference finals (by the Pittsburgh Penguins). They were hoping to force Game 5 back in Boston on Saturday night. Carolina goalie Curtis McElhinney made 19 saves in his second start of the series. He was pulled with about 5 1/2 minutes left, and the extra skater didn't help.
The Hurricanes had been splendid in winning all five of their home playoff games until Rask arrived this week, first starring Tuesday night in Boston's 2-1 victory. The Bruins had the first ideal scoring chance, with Marchand's shot on a rebound denied by McElhinney in the first period.
Pastrnak's seventh goal of the postseason came when Marchand returned a pass to him at 4:46 of the second period. It was the sixth power-play goal of the series for Boston. The Hurricanes had several sequences of extended time in the Boston zone in the second before Bergeron converted on the power play with 1:26 remaining in the period.
Carolina had just four second-period shots and one through the first 10 minutes of the third period. Bergeron notched his eighth goal of the postseason at 10:32 of the third period and Marchand added his seventh.
Boston played without defenseman Zdeno Chara, who was a penalty-killing standout in Game 3. The team listed him as day-to-day due to an undisclosed injury, as his streak of 98 consecutive playoff games for the Bruins came to an end. John Moore took his spot. The Bruins put centre Noel Acciari in the lineup on the fourth line for his 12th game of the postseason to fill in for right winger Chris Wagner, who was out because of an arm injury sustained late in Game 3.