GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron is always a beast in elimination games, and that was the case once again versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Bergeron finished with two goals, three points and a plus-2 rating in 16:42 of ice time, had six shots on net, a whopping 11 shot attempts, a hit, four takeaways and three blocked shots along with a 10-for-21 performance in the face-off circle.
David Pastrnak scored the game-winner while snapping in Boston’s first goal of the game, but Bergeron added the next to give the Bruins all of the cushion they would need to take down the Hurricanes. The entire Perfection Line was something special for the Black and Gold, but Bergeron really was at his best in the big game.
BLACK EYE: Jaccob Slavin is a talented defenseman, but he was not very good for the Hurricanes in this one. He had an outlet pass bounce right off Patrice Bergeron’s skate before it led to a goal for Bergeron, and he finished with a minus-1 rating in 23:29 of ice time.
Slavin didn’t have a single shot on net and finished with a couple of giveaways during the game, and really wasn’t much of a factor at all for a Canes team he helped drive through the first couple of rounds in the playoffs. In fact, Slavin finished without a point in the entire four-game sweep at the hands of the Bruins after he posted 11 points in 11 games.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually had a scoreless first period battle with the Hurricanes and then just had the one David Pastrnak goal for much of the second period. It looked like Carolina might get a game-tying goal when the B’s fourth line and the Torey Krug/Brandon Carlo defense pairing were hemmed in the zone for a good two-plus minutes. But the Hurricanes never managed to score against the exhausted crew of players, and only managed a measly four shots on net for the entire period.
That kept the door open for Patrice Bergeron to score his first goal in the final minutes of the second after a goalie interference call, and that effectively slammed the door on Carolina’s chances.
HONORABLE MENTION: It wasn’t Tuukka Rask’s best night by any stretch of the imagination, but he still managed with a shutout while stopping 24 Carolina shots in the 4-0 victory. The shutout means that Rask has never lost a game in the conference final and has allowed only seven goals in eight conference final games over the course of his career.
Rask had some pretty good saves in the first period when both teams traded some chances, but things really tightened up for the Bruins in the final 40 minutes of the game as they effectively suffocated Carolina’s offense. That made for a less-than-busy night for Rask, who stopped everything he needed to while winning his seventh playoff game in a row.
BY THE NUMBERS: 17-for-50 – the NHL’s top power play in the playoffs kicked in a pair of goals in the Game 4 win and leads the entire playoff field with a 34 percent success rate this spring.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We’ve earned the right to be where we are.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the podium after a Game 4 win that clinches their berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
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