BRUINS ARE EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: The Boston Bruins are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three seasons. They took down the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0, completing a sweep to become Eastern Conference champions. The Bruins held the Penguins to just two goals in the series. Adam McQuaid scored the winner for the Bruins at 5:01 of the third period.
HORTON CALLED FOR A HOLD: Nathan Horton was called for a hold with 58 seconds left on the Bruins power play, wiping out the man advantage. Daniel Paille had a shorthanded breakaway attempt but missed high on the right side. The B's killed off the remainder of the power play, making them 3 for 3 on the night.
BRUINS TO THE POWER PLAY: At 11:21 of the third period, the Bruins went on their third power play of the game. Patrice Bergeron was taken down by Kris Letang. who was given a minor penalty for tripping. Jaromir Jagr came close to potting one, but hit the post. With 58 seconds to go on the man advantage, Nathan Horton was called for a hold, negating the Bruins power play.
MCQUAID BREAKS THE DEADLOCK: It took more than 40 minutes, but a goal has finally been scored here in Game 4 and it came off the stick of Adam McQuaid. The Bruins D-man hopped off the bench as Brad Marchand patiently carried the puck into Pittsburgh’s end. As McQuaid made his way past the blue line, Marchand pivoted at the left faceoff circle and fed him at the point. McQuaid then ripped a slapshot past Tomas Vokoun’s glove side and netted his second goal of the playoffs at 5:01.
9:45 p.m. - Second Period Snapshots: BOS 0, PIT 0
BRUINS, PENGUINS STILL SCORELESS: With 40 minutes of hockey in the books, the Bruins and Penguins remain deadlocked at 0-0. Much like Game 3, both Tomas Vokoun and Tuukka Rask have been outstanding, turning aside 17 and 20 shots respectively.
VOKOUN ROBS SEGUIN: Tyler Seguin has one goal this postseason, and if it weren’t for a spectacular save from Tomas Vokoun, he would’ve just netted number two. Seguin carried the puck down the slot uncontested and tried to pick the top left corner of the net. Vokoun was there, to turn it away, however. Moments later, Seguin put another shot on net from the left faceoff circle that created a a great scoring chance for Rich Peverley, but Peverley couldn’t settle the bouncing rebound.
MORROW BOXED; BRUINS BACK ON THE PP: Brad Marchand caught the referee’s attention right after he left the box for his interference penalty, but this time it was in the Bruins’ favor. Penguins forward Brenden Morrow was sent to the penalty box at the 8:27 mark for hooking Marchand, giving Boston’s its second power play of the night. Although the B’s were able to establish and maintain possession in Pittsburgh’s end for nearly the entire power play, the Penguins did a good job clogging up shooting lanes. Torey Krug had a chance from the point but sent it wide, and the Bruins are now 0-for-2 on the power play.
MARCHAND SENT RIGHT BACK: Less than one minute after Brad Marchand left the penalty box for his roughing penalty, he was sent right back for interference at 6:05. Once again, the Bruins PK unit came up big and shut down the Penguins’ star-studded power play. The B’s are two-for-two on the PK tonight.
MARCHAND & NISKANEN SENT TO THE BOX: Brad Marchand and Penguins D-man Matt Niskanen got into a scuffle after the whistle at 3:22. After exchanging a few punches, both were sent to the penalty box with matching roughing penalties. Marchand and Niskanen have a bit of history. The pair dropped the gloves on December 5, 2011, and sparred for nearly a minute before the referees were able to separate them.
DAUGAVINS GETS A GOOD LOOK: Kaspars Daugavins, playing in his first game since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, nearly put the Bruins on the scoreboard early in the second period. Daugavins drove in wide with the puck and put on a toe drag as he tried to lure Tomas Vokoun out of position. The Bruins forward lifted the puck up over Vokoun’s glove side but couldn’t connect.
9:01 p.m. - First Period Snapshots: BOS 0, PIT 0
B’S, PENS SCORELESS AFTER ONE: The Bruins and Penguins head into the dressing room scoreless after the first 20 minutes of play. Both teams have their share of scoring opportunities in the first frame, but as was the case in Game 3, both goaltenders were on their games. Tuukka Rask robbed Sidney Crosby on a point-blank chance in front of the net, and Tomas Vokoun delivered a few clutch stops on the Bruins’ power play. The Bruins head into the first intermission outshooting the Penguins by an 11-9 mark.
BRUINS KEEPING PENGUINS QUIET: Pittsburgh came out of the gate putting pressure on the Bruins’ defense and quickly took a 4-1 lead in the shots department. However, the Pens have mustered only one shot on net in the last nine minutes. Boston, meanwhile, has recorded seven shots on net with two minutes remaining in the first period.
BRUINS GO ON THE POWER PLAY: The Penguins were called for too many men on the ice at the 9:22 mark, giving the Bruins their first opportunity to skate with a man advantage tonight. The B’s establish possession and cycled the puck well, setting up great scoring chances from Tyler Seguin at the left half-wall, Zdeno Chara at the point, and Milan Lucic on a wrap-around. Tomas Vokoun kept the puck out of the net, however, and both teams are now 0-for-1 on the power play tonight.
LUCIC TO TO BOX: Less than three minutes into the first period, Milan Lucic was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, setting the Bruins shorthanded. The B’s penalty kill continued stifling Pittsburgh’s power play and yielded only one shot on net. Brad Marchand nearly netted a shorthanded goal when he broke through on a breakaway, but he couldn’t quite get in position for a quality shot on net.
COMING OUT HARD: THe Bruins came out hard in the opening second of the first period with big hits from both Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille getting the crowd into the game almost immediately. Shortly thereafter, Tyler Seguin had the first opportunity of the game when he fired a shot on Vokoun, which the Pittsburgh goaltender was able to turn aside to keep the Bruins scoreless just over a minute into Game Four.
7:30 p.m. - Pregame Notes: BOS VS PIT
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (11-4, 1.85 GAA, .940 Save %) vs. Vokoun (6-4, 2.11 GAA, .931 Save %). Rask is 18-10 with a 2.20 GAA and .927 Save % with one shutout in 28 career postseason games. Vokoun is 9-12 with a 2.30 GAA and .927 Save % with two shutouts in 21 career postseason games.
BRUINS FAN BANNER CAPTAIN: The Bruins Fan Banner has been passed around the loge section of TD Garden before playoff games since the 2009 postseason. In 2011, Honorary Captains were introduced and have traditionally featured prominent Bruins alumni. This year, the Fan Banner Captains will feature a ‘Boston Strong’ theme with individuals chosen from in and around the Boston area. Tonight’s Fan Banner Captains are William and Patricia Campbell of Medford, MA, whose daughter Krystle passed away at the Boston Marathon events. Below is a recap of the Fan Banner Captains thus far this postseason:
TOR, Game 1: Todd Brown, Sean Tierney, Eric Gahagan and Ariane Thibodeau (Bomb Technicians from the Boston area)
TOR, Game 2: Jeff Bauman (Helped authorities identify the suspects after the Boston Marathon events, despite being injured)
TOR, Game 5: Carlos Arredondo (Came to aid of Jeff Bauman and others injured at the Boston Marathon)
TOR, Game 7: Jarrod Clowery (Bruins fan injured at the Boston Marathon)
NYR, Game 1: Adrianne Haslet-Davis (Despite being injured at the Boston Marathon, vows to dance and run again)
NYR, Game 2: Chris Dumont (Mass. State Police officer who came to the aid of Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue)
PIT, Game 3: Richard Donohue (Transit Police Officer who was in a firefight with the bombing suspects from the marathon)
BRUINS WEEK AHEAD: The Boston Bruins Week Ahead for 6/8 – 6/14 will be released on Saturday, June 8.
BRUINS VS PENGUINS LIFETIME: The Bruins and Penguins are squaring off in in the postseason for the fifth time with each team winning two of the previous four series. Through 22 postseason games against Pittsburgh, Boston holds a 12-10 record. The Bruins hold a slight 73-69 scoring edge over the Penguins lifetime in the playoffs coming into tonight.
STREAKING: David Krejci, who leads the NHL in postseason points (21) and goals (9), comes into tonight riding a three-game goal/point streak, notching four goals during that span. Krejci’s linemate, Milan Lucic, is riding a streak of his own, registering three assists in his last three games.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Jaromir Jagr is currently one goal shy of tying Jean Beliveau for 10th place on the all-time playoff goals list with 79. Jagr is currently the NHL’s active leader in playoff goals (78), assists (118, 11th all-time) and points (196, tied for fifth all-time).
BRUINS DEFENSEMEN PRODUCING: The Bruins D-men have accounted for 34 of their 135 points (25.2%) this postseason, including 14 of their 49 goals (28.6%). Johnny Boychuk leads the Bruins blueliner contingent with five goals (2nd among NHL D-men), while Zdeno Chara leads the defensemen in points with 11 (3rd among NHL D-men).
DAUGAVINS IN; JULIEN SHUFFLES LINES: With centerman Gregory Campbell sidelined by a broken leg, Bruins boss Claude Julien has made some changes to the lineup. Kaspars Daugavins will take Campbell’s spot in the lineup, and he’ll skate alongside Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin. Chris Kelly will center the Merlot Line.
PENGUINS NOTEBOOK: Pittsburgh enters tonight’s game down 0-3 in a series for just the fifth time in franchise history…The Penguins have gone 5-1 in their last six playoff games following an overtime loss… Kris Letang (3-13=16) and Evgeni Malkin (4-12=16) lead Pittsburgh in scoring coming into Game 4...Pittsburgh is 10-for-10 on the penalty kill through the first three games of this series and is 15-for-15 on the PK over their last four games dating back to Game 5 against Ottawa... Last game, Craig Adams logged over half of his ice time (7:09 of 14:12) while the Penguins were shorthanded… Letang skated in a team-high 40:50 minutes in Game 3, which is the first time in his career he surpassed the 40-mintute mark. His eight shots were also a career high.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 7-for-42 (16.7%, 9th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 42-for-49 (85.7%, 6th NHL)… Penguins power play: 13-for-58 (22.4%, 3rd NHL), Penguins penalty kill: 45-for-49 (91.8%, 3rd NHL).