Bruins complete sweep, advance to Stanley Cup Finals

This current run that the Bruins find themselves on almost defies logic. Somehow, the same team that was down 4-1 in the third period to the Maple Leafs Game 7 in the first round, but recovered, beat the Rangers in five games then swept the seemingly unbeatable Penguins to reach the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals (for the second time in three years).

Boston has won nine of its last 10 games after a thrilling 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night at TD Garden.

Fittingly, for a team that has received contributions up and down the lineup, Adam McQuaid had the game-winner. The snipe in the top corner past Tomas Vokoun (23 saves) at 5:01 of the third period was McQuaid’s second goal of the playoffs and 15th for a Bruins defensemen. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron had the assists.

“It was nice to get a little offense from our defense,” said McQuaid. “Marchand made a great play and I was just trying to get a shot on net. I had come on a line change and looked back to make sure that nobody was behind me. It feels good when you don’t normally score.”

Tuukka Rask (26 saves) pitched his second shutout of the series as the Bruins set a franchise record by allowing only two goals in four games. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang combined for a grand total of zero points in nearly 14 periods of action vs. Boston. Pittsburgh’s top-ranked power play was 0-for-15 in the series, including 0-for-3 in Game 4. Head coach Claude Julien talked about how the long layoff before the series allowed the Bruins’ coaching staff to focus on Pittsburgh’s lethal power play unit.

“We had a lot of time to make adjustments because we knew they had such a good power play,” Julien said. “We knew we had to be at our best to beat this team.”

Other than Game 2, which was a blowout for Boston, the other three games were tightly contested and as Julien pointed out, the difference in the playoffs often comes down to a lucky bounce here or there (Pittsburgh hit numerous posts in the series). It also helped that the Penguins never led in the entire series.

“You grow from the tough times, it makes you a better team down the road,” Julien said. “I’ve been here for six years and I think that I’ve been fired five times. Winning hockey games is what matters.”

Boston awaits the Western Conference champion, with the Blackhawks leading the Kings 3-1 with Game 5 Saturday night in Chicago. Either way, the Bruins haven’t seen any teams from the West because the lockout limited them to only Eastern Conference opponents. Fans of the Original Six are rooting for Bruins-Blackhawks since that particular matchup has never happened before and the last Original Six Stanley Cup Finals was 1979 (Canadiens vs. Rangers). Facing the Kings wouldn’t be bad either since they are the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth photobombs Australian hockey players trying…

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…