The Boston Bruins are back in the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2013.
Boston reached the conference finals for the eighth time since the round was introduced in 1982 with a 3-0 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Nationwide Arena on Monday. Tuukka Rask's 39-save performance helped the Bruins win the best-of-7 series 4-2. They will play the Carolina Hurricanes with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Their eight conference finals appearances since 1982 (also 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2011 and 2013) are sixth-most among all teams behind the Chicago Blackhawks (12), Detroit Red Wings (10), Edmonton Oilers (nine), Philadelphia Flyers (nine) and Pittsburgh Penguins (nine). The Bruins advanced to the Cup Final in four of those eight years (1988, 1990, 2011 and 2013), winning the Cup in 2011.
The series-clinching shutout was the second by Rask, who defeated the Penguins 1-0 in Game 4 to complete Boston's sweep in the 2013 conference final. He is the third goalie in Bruins history to have two series-clinching shutouts in his career, joining Gerry Cheevers (Game 6 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 of the 1977 NHL Semifinals) and Tim Thomas (Game 7 of 2011 Eastern Conference Final, Game 7 of 2011 Stanley Cup Final).
It was Rask's sixth playoff shutout, tying Tiny Thompson and Thomas for the second in Bruins history behind Cheevers, who had eight. Rask also tied Miikka Kiprusoff for the most playoff shutouts by a Finland-born goalie.
Video: Rask posts a shutout in Game 6 as the Bruins advance
Avalanche push series to seventh game with OT win
Gabriel Landeskog scored 2:32 into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Pepsi Center. The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3 with Game 7 at SAP Center on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Avalanche are 11th team in NHL history to stave off elimination despite surrendering at least three separate leads and first since the Bruins in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a 4-3 overtime win at the Washington Capitals. Colorado is 3-0 in overtime during 2019 playoffs after going 3-12 in 15 regular-season OT games.
Landeskog is the fifth different player in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to score an overtime goal in an elimination game and first since Joe Sakic in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals, a 2-1 win in San Jose.
The Avalanche and Sharks will play in their 14th and 12th all-time Game 7, respectively. It's the second Game 7 this season for San Jose, which defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 to win the first round. The Sharks will play multiple Game 7s in one playoff season for the second time since entering the NHL in 1991. The other instance came in 1994, when they defeated the Red Wings 3-2 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals and lost 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference semifinals.
Colorado and San Jose will require Game 7 for the second time in their five postseason series. The other came in 2002, when Peter Forsberg's goal gave Colorado a 1-0 victory. The Avalanche/Nordiques are 6-7 in their 13 previous Game 7s, including 2-4 as the visiting team. The Sharks are 7-4, including 4-1 at home.
Video: Rask, Bruins, Landeskog shine on Monday
Blues host Stars in Game 7
The St. Louis Blues play the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round at Enterprise Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). It's the fourth Game 7 of the 2019 playoffs; two of the three Game 7s in the first round were decided in overtime.
The Blues and Stars/Minnesota North Stars will play Game 7 for the fifth time in their 12 best-of-7 series, with three of the first four decided in overtime. The Blues are 3-1 in those four games, winning in the 1968 Semifinals (2-1 in double overtime), 1972 Quarterfinals (2-1 in overtime) and 2016 Western Conference Second Round (6-1). The North Stars won the 1984 Norris Division Final 4-3 in overtime.
St. Louis is 8-8 in its 16 previous Game 7s, including 4-2 at home. Dallas/Minnesota is 5-7 in its 12 Game 7s, including 2-4 as the visiting team.
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