Boston Bruins Heading To Eastern Conference Finals


Twenty-eight seconds apart, Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored on power plays during a four-goal outburst as Boston rallied from a third-period deficit to beat Carolina 5-2 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Now the Bruins are back in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2012-13, and they did that by taking control of a series with an upstart Columbus team that swept top-seed Tampa Bay in the first round. He skated in a red non-contact jersey during Saturday's practice, and though he won't play in Game 2 on Sunday against the Hurricanes, he is getting closer to a return.

The Blue Jackets played hard and forechecked well enough to win every game, but were 0 for 10 on power-play chances in the final three games of the series, all won by Boston. The fans here are awesome, so just to, I guess, hear the crowd after was awesome. "There is some gamesmanship that some teams go through to try to get a goalie off his game and he was able to play through that".

"They're a good team", Rask said. "It's amusing when that happens because you know you got the better of them at that point".

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"I'm not going to discuss that", Tortorella said.

Carolina seized control for most of the second period, and they also seized a lead in the process.

With the help of the Bruins defence corps, Tuukka Rask cracked down, limiting the Leafs to five goals in the last three games of the series, recording a 0.940 save percentage in the process. It's not magical, you got to out-will a guy on the puck. "He's been in a real good place, consistent, just solid and composed".

The Bruins doubled the advantage at 8:58 of the third period, as Johansson weaved toward the middle of the ice before wristing a shot that handcuffed Bobrovsky.

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A few minutes later it was David Backes who scored his first goal of the playoffs assisted by Torey Krug and David Krejci.

Columbus forward Josh Anderson exited the contest with 20 seconds remaining in the second period after he was jarred by Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who received a two-minute penalty for an illegal check to the head.

"[Charlie Coyle] and MoJo seem to have hit it off and we were hoping that would be the case", said Bruce Cassidy. The fact that Hamilton was whining about both calls after the game only further adds to a lack of accountability that's always been there for him.

HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Wagner is only in the Boston lineup right now because Noel Acciari is hurt, but that didn't stop the fourth-liner from Walpole, Mass., from having his best game of the playoffs.

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Boston and the Carolina franchise will face each other in the postseason for the fifth time.