RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Boston’s top line kept finding ways to score, especially on the power play. With a chance to clinch another series, Tuukka Rask was perfect — again.
Rask posted his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Bruins swept the Carolina Hurricanes out of the Eastern Conference final, winning 4-0 on Thursday night to reach their third Stanley Cup Final in nine years.
“Everyone in the room wanted to be at their best,” forward Brad Marchand said, “and everyone was at their best tonight.”
Rask made 24 saves in his second straight series-clinching shutout. Patrice Bergeron scored two goals, David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and Marchand added an empty-netter. Both Bergeron and Pastrnak scored on second-period power plays.
Boston won its seventh straight postseason game — its longest playoff winning streak in nearly half a century — to return to the Cup final after winning in 2011 and losing to Chicago two years later.
“It’s so difficult to advance in the playoffs, let alone make it to the final,” said Rask, the backup to Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas in 2011. “We need to really enjoy this but realize we have a lot of work to do.”
On its longest postseason win streak since reeling off nine straight in 1972, Boston earned a break before taking on the West winner. San Jose leads its series with St. Louis 2-1 heading into Game 4 Friday night.