Boston Bruins' 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff run: A game-by-game recap
The Bruins' Stanley Cup Playoff run started exactly two months ago, when the team opened the postseason against the Maple Leafs for the second straight year. And now just one game stands between the B's and the seventh title in franchise history.
Along the way, there have been thrilling victories, demoralizing defeats, hard hits, suspensions, refereeing controversies, and inspiring moments both on and off the ice. As Boston prepares for a winner-take-all Game 7 against the Blues Wednesday night, take a look back at how the Bruins got to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2011.
FIRST ROUND VS. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, APRIL 11, GAME 1: MAPLE LEAFS 4, BRUINS 1
The Bruins' Stanley Cup playoff run got off to a shaky start as Mitch Marner scored twice, including on a penalty shot, and Frederik Andersen made 37 saves as the Leafs won the series opener at TD Garden after dropping three of four to Boston in the regular season.
APRIL 13, GAME 2: BRUINS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 1
The B's bounced back to even the series after taking what David Backes called "a slap in the face" in the opener. First-period goals from Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand sent Boston on its way and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves. The Bruins' lost Jake DeBrusk to a concussion after he was cross-checked by Nazem Kadri in the head. Kadri was suspended for the remainder of the series by the NHL.
APRIL 15, GAME 3: MAPLE LEAFS 3, BRUINS 2
The Leafs took a 2-1 series lead after returning home and getting a goal and an assist each from Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson and 34 saves from Andersen.
APRIL 17, GAME 4: BRUINS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 4
The Bruins tied the series at 2 behind two goals from David Pastrnak and a goal and assists from Brad Marchand as the top line came alive and Tuukka Rask made 38 saves and held on as the Leafs cut a 5-2 Boston lead to 5-4 at 13:27 of the third period.
APRIL 19, GAME 5: MAPLE LEAFS 2, BRUINS 1
Two third-period goals by the Leafs - including Matthews' fourth goal in the past three games - pushed the Bruins to the brink of first-round elimination at TD Garden. Much like their 2-1 Game 5 loss to the Blues in the Cup Final, a controversial goal beat the B's. This time, the Bruins challenged that Rask was interfered with by Toronto's Zach Hyman before Matthews' goal that broke a scoreless goaltender duel in the third. The goal was upheld and sent Boston to Toronto to try and save its season in Game 6.
APRIL 21, GAME 6: BRUINS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
"To me, this is the best we've played," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after Brad Marchand scored twice and the Bruins stayed alive on a Sunday afternoon in Toronto and sent their first-round series with the Leafs to a seventh game for the second year in a row.
APRIL 23, GAME 7: BRUINS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 1
In a repeat of 2018, the Bruins sent the Leafs home with a Game 7 victory at TD Garden, leaving Toronto still without a playoff series victory since 2004. Perhaps inspired by fan banner captain Julian Edelman and his beer chugging, the B's got first-period goals from Joakim Nordstrom and Marcus Johansson and a third-period breakaway score by Sean Kuraly to put the Leafs away.
SECOND ROUND VS. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS, APRIL 25, GAME 1: BRUINS 3, BLUE JACKETS 2 (OT)
Charlie Coyle scored with 4:35 left in the third period to tie it and again in overtime to rally the Bruins at home in the opener against the upstart Blue Jackets, who had stunned East No. 1 seed Tampa Bay with a series sweep to win their first playoff series.
APRIL 27, GAME 2: BLUE JACKETS 3, BRUINS 2 (2OT)
Matt Duchene scored on a power play 3:42 into the second overtime as Columbus evened the series. Artemi Panarin scored twice, including the goal that tied it at 2 at 8:03 of the third and Sergei Bobrovsky made huge stops in the OT to send the series to Columbus at 1-1.
APRIL 30, GAME 3: BLUE JACKETS 2, BRUINS 1
Bobrovsky made 15 of his 36 saves in the third period as the Blue Jackets came home a seized the series lead. The postgame included this prescient quote from B's defenseman Brandon Carlo: "The secondary saves that he's making are very impressive, but he's going to crack at some point."
MAY 2, GAME 4: BRUINS 4, BLUE JACKETS 1
As they had in the first round against Toronto, the B's bounced back on the road to tie the series at 2 as Bergeron scored twice and Rask made 39 saves. It was the first of eight consecutive playoff victories for the Boston.
MAY 3, GAME 5: BRUINS 4, BLUE JACKETS 3
David Pastrnak scored his second goal of the game with 1:28 left in the third period after Columbus had rallied to tie it as the Bruins took a 3-2 series lead. Brad Marchand had a goal and the assist on Pastrnak's game-winner as the B's top line heated up.
MAY 6, GAME 6: BRUINS 4, BLUE JACKETS 0
Rask made 39 saves for his first playoff shutout since 2014 and Krejci had a goal and an assist as the Bruins closed out the Blue Jackets in Columbus to reach the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2013.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL, MAY 9, GAME 1: BRUINS 5, HURRICANES 2
Power-play goals 28 seconds apart in the third period by Johansson and Bergeron and 29 saves from Rask helped get the B's out to a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
MAY 11, GAME 2: BRUINS 6, HURRICANES 2
Two goals from Matt Grzelcyk and Connor Clifton's first NHL goal powered the B's to a home victory and a 2-0 series lead.
MAY 14, GAME 3: BRUINS 2, HURRICANES 1
Rask made 20 of his 35 saves in a frenetic first-period and Chris Wagner and Marchand had the goals as Boston closed in on a return to the Stanley Cup Final and a sweep of Carolina.
MAY 16, GAME 4: BRUINS 4, HURRICANES 0
The B's broke out the brooms in Carolina as Rask pitched a 24-save shutout and Bergeron scored twice to send Boston to the Cup Final for the first time since 2013.
STANLEY CUP FINAL, MAY 27, GAME 1: BRUINS 4, BLUES 2
After falling behind 2-0 early, the Bruins stormed back by scoring the next four consecutive goals. Sean Kuraly had a goal and an assist and Brad Marchand's empty netter with 1:49 left sealed the deal as the B's took a 1-0 lead in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
MAY 29, GAME 2: BLUES 3, BRUINS 2 (OT)
Carl Gunnarsson scored 3:51 into overtime as the St. Louis Blues beat the Bruins 3-2 in Game 2 to even the series 1-1 and earn the franchise its first victory in a Final.
JUNE 1, GAME 3: BRUINS 7, BLUES 2
The Bruins absolutely dominated on the power play, converting on all four of their chances and put five goals past Jordan Binnington. Patrice Bergeron notched his 100th playoff point en route to a three-point night as the B's reclaimed home ice with a win in Game 3.
JUNE 3, GAME 4: BLUES 4, BRUINS 2
It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the night, but two goals from Ryan O'Reilly helped to sink the Bruins in Game 4. Zdeno Chara left the game in the second period after taking a puck to the face that resulted in a broken jaw. It left the Bruins with just five defensemen.
JUNE 6, GAME 5: BLUES 2, BRUINS 1
Despite an inspirational return by Chara and a rousing standing ovation in pregame introductions, the Bruins trailed all night. A missed tripping call when the Blues' Tyler Bozak took down Noel Acciari that immediately resulted in a third-period goal for the Blues ended up being the difference in the Bruins' 2-1 loss. The referees of Game 5 received plenty of criticism for their blunder in such a pivotal game.
JUNE 9, GAME 6: BRUINS 5, BLUES 1
The city of St. Louis was ready to celebrate winning its first ever Stanley Cup, but the Bruins spoiled the party. Boston's power play again had success, with Brad Marchand opening the scoring with a goal on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period, while the B's held the Blues scoreless on four power plays. The floodgates opened in the third as Boston scored four times, setting the stage for the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final history, the first since 2011 and the first ever in Boston.
JUNE 12, GAME 7: BLUES 4, BRUINS 1
Jordan Binnington made 32 saves to deny the Bruins time after time as the Blues rode their rookie goaltender and two first-period goals and two third-period strikes to a 4-1 victory in Game 7 in Boston to win their first Stanley Cup in the franchise's 52-year history.