David Pastrnak had two assists in his return to the lineup, and the Boston Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in Game 5 to win their Eastern Conference First Round series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday.
Pastrnak was unfit to play the previous three games. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
"Obviously, felt a bit better every shift," Pastrnak said. "It was good to be back with the guys. Obviously, anytime you're watching the game from the stands, it's tough. So really happy I was back and important win, and great series."
[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Bruins highlights]
David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and an assist, and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves for the Bruins, the No. 4 seed in the East. Their opponent in the Eastern Conference Second Round has not been determined.
Petr Mrazek made 25 saves, and Haydn Fleury scored for Carolina, the No. 5 seed, which has lost eight of its past nine games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Boston. The Hurricanes were outscored 17-5 in a four-game sweep by the Bruins in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final.
"I think we played at a level to beat them," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I'm really proud of this team. They do it right. We responded, which is the best thing. We walk out of here, I think, with our heads high with the effort we put out there, especially tonight. I thought we were the better team."
Four of five games in this series were decided by one goal. The Bruins won 3-1 in Game 3 with Brad Marchand scoring an empty-net goal with 31 seconds remaining.
Boston won the series after losing its three round-robin games in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in Toronto, the hub city for the East. It won the Presidents' Trophy this season with the best record in the NHL (44-14-12; .714 points percentage).
"They know what's at stake," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "I think they've been around long enough to know that when you get a chance to close out a team, you have to take advantage of it. … For us last year, it took us seven games [to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round]. People might forget.
"The first round, teams are hungry. They're relatively healthy. Carolina came in here feeling really good about their game after they swept the [New York Rangers in the Qualifiers]. So you've got to be careful."
Krejci, who had eight points (three goals, five assists) in the series, tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal at 15:20 of the second period. Bergeron's shot deflected off Pastrnak near the crease, and Krejci got the loose puck for a wrist shot, extending his point streak to six games.
"We obviously wanted to finish it off today," Krejci said. "Those are the hardest ones to get. We knew we didn't want to come back here tomorrow and play back to back. So we had a great response after the first period. Power play was big. … We'll take the win and are happy we don't have to come back here tomorrow."
Bergeron gave Boston a 2-1 lead on the power play with four seconds remaining in the period when he shot off Mrazek's left skate from below the goal line.
The Bruins were 2-for-4 on the power play after scoring on three of 15 chances in the first four games. They had the second-ranked power play in the NHL this season (25.2 percent) behind the Edmonton Oilers (29.5).
"Obviously, their power play is one of the best in the League," Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. "They've got a lot of set plays that they run. They're good at those plays. So I think, for the most part as a kill, we did a pretty good job this series. I think both their goals tonight are kind of fluky power-play goals."
Fleury put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 at 9:35 of the first period when his shot went in off the left post.
Carolina led in four of the five games. It had a 2-0 lead in the third period of Game 4 before Boston scored four goals in a span of 6:51 for a 4-3 win Monday.
"It was a tight series," said Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal, who had two shots and six hits in 15:48 after leaving Game 4 when he took a hit from Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy at 9:53 of the third period. "I thought there was maybe one game we weren't at our best. It's always going to be tight against a good team like that. They keep it tight, and I think we got beat in a few little areas. … They found ways to win games."
NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin contributed to this report
Video: Bruins win Game 5, advance to Second Round