Bruins sweep Penguins in conference finals
Goalie Tuukka Rask grabbed the final shot in his big glove as the buzzer sounded, sealing the Boston Bruins' stunning sweep of the suddenly powerless Pittsburgh Penguins.
All Rask needed was one goal of offensive support from his Bruins teammates to get Boston back in the Stanley Cup finals.
Defenceman Adam McQuaid snapped a third-period tie, and Rask did the rest as the Bruins beat the Penguins 1-0 to complete a sweep of the Eastern Conference finals.
They did it by allowing the NHL's highest-scoring team just two goals in four games - with Rask posting shutouts in the opener and the clincher.
Boston's defence showed they could score as well when McQuaid provided the only offence the Bruins needed at 5:01 of the third period.
"I think first and foremost, we're obviously trying to be solid defensively," McQuaid, who had one goal in 32 regular-season games but two in the playoffs, said of the defencemen. "It obviously feels good. It feels good to be able to contribute that way when you don't normally.
"You look at so many great efforts we had from guys. The last 10 minutes of the game, guys were all over the ice, doing whatever it took to preserve that goal."
McQuaid's goal sparked a chant of "We want the Cup!" from the capacity crowd. At the end of the game, the Bruins were one step closer to another title.
Boston will face either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings when the Bruins shoot for their second Stanley Cup championship in three years. Chicago lead the Western Conference series 3-1 and can advance to the finals with a home win (this morning Hong Kong time). If the Blackhawks get there, it will set up the first finals matchup of Original Six NHL franchises since 1979.
In the last minute, with goalie Tomas Vokoun removed for an extra skater, the Penguins kept the pressure on Rask. Pittsburgh's final shot, a 40-footer from the centre of the zone from Jarome Iginla, was stopped by Rask. Seconds later, he was surrounded by ecstatic teammates.
"It's just a scramble," Rask said. "You can't see anything, and people are lying everywhere."
The Penguins never led in the series. "I just didn't play very well," Iginla said. "That's when you want to play your best for the team."
Iginla and offensive stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin got no points in the series.