The Boston Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup Finals with a sweep of the top seed Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. This will be their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons.
Boston kept the heat on Pittsburgh and scored the only goal at 5:01 in the third. Adam McQuaid’s slap shot went past goalie Tomas Vokoun to win the game 1-0. It was goalie Tuukka Rask’s second shutout of the series. Rask made an amazing glove save right when the buzzer sounded. Jerome Ignila, who chose Pittsburgh over Boston, fittingly fired the puck in the waning seconds that Rask snatched. He made a total of 26 saves and stopped 134 of 136 shots in the series. Pittsburgh did try to make a last minute effort, but Rask came up huge.
“Without that kind of goaltending, you don’t get a chance at winning the cup,” said coach Claude Julien.
Pittsburgh was dreadful and awful in all four games. Boston’s superb defense managed to shut down one of the best offenses in the playoffs. Pittsburgh’s top stars–Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Jarome Ignila–did not have a goal. They never led in the series and the closest they got was in Game 3 when they went into double overtime.
“You score two goals in four games in a series, and personally to go without any points, it doesn’t sit very well,” said Crosby.
Added Malkin: “We lose four nothing it’s very bad, we score two goals four games it’s not enough. It’s my mistake I score zero goals it’s not good for me. My job is not look how play goalie, it’s my job to score goals. If you shot twenty times and zero goals it’s not very good, you know?”
Boston came together and dominated the best team in the East. In the first two rounds, Pittsburgh averaged around four goals per game. Rask and the defense allowed them to score only one goal in the final 155:15 of the series. Pittsburgh never scored in the first period too and outscored them 12-2 in the series.
“Of course it feels like a family. I’ve had a lot of fun since the first day I came here,” said Jaromir Jagr, who came over midseason. “No one acts like a superstar, good team chemistry and appreciate that we can go to the Finals and spend more time together.”
Boston does not know their Western Conference opponent. The Chicago Blackhawks have the opportunity to advance Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings to face Boston.