RALEIGH, N.C. – The Bruins' Perfection Line wasn’t quite living up to its name in the conference final entering the fourth and final game in the best-of-seven series. Instead it was more about the team's roster depth and its secondary scoring coming to the forefront and doing the job as Boston built up a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
But Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were on a mission in Thursday night’s Game 4 as their line accounted for all four goals scored and eight points overall in a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena to finish off the clean sweep.
“I think the last few games we knew that we could be a little bit better than what we’ve been,” admitted Brad Marchand. “With the situation we were in — up 3-0 — everybody wanted to be at their best, and I think everybody brought their best tonight. Sometimes it bounces your way. You look at [Bergeron’s] history and the way he steps up in big games. Pasta was great tonight.
“The reason we’ve been successful is because we’ve had each line and every D-pairing step up and play big in big situations. When you’re able to rely on everyone it makes it easier to just focus on doing your own job, and do what you’re expected to do. You all just gel together in those situations.”
Bergeron scored the second and third goals of the game on the power play, and finished with a dominant performance in yet another elimination game with the two goals, three points, 11 shot attempts, four takeaways and three blocked shots while filling out the score sheet.
It was clear that it was going to be a perfect kind of night from the very first period when it took great saves from Curtis McElhinney to keep Marchand and Pastrnak off the board. Eventually that dam busted open, however, as the B’s top players provided pressure and then got awarded a couple of power plays in the second period that they turned into damage-makers.
The Perfection Line finished with the four goals, 11 shots on net and a whopping 26 shot attempts in a dominant puck possession performance that eventually turned into enough finished plays to dust off the Hurricanes. The eight points that the trio combined for actually outnumbered the points (six) that Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak put up in the first three games of the series vs. the Hurricanes, so it was the perfect time for the big guns to step up.
“It hasn’t been one line [in the playoffs], but [in Game 4] it was. The big line was there,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I’m proud of the guys especially with the way they played today. They’ve earned the right to be there in the Stanley Cup Final. We’ve beaten three good teams. There’s some unfinished business. We want to enjoy it, but we understand that there are four more steps to take.”
Certainly it will be four steps that will be a little more easily attained if the Perfection Line lives up to its name in the Cup Final as it did while closing out the Hurricanes in dominant fashion during Game 4.
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