The Boston Bruins are moving on.
For the first time since 2013, the B’s will be playing in the Eastern Conference finals. The Bruins put the finishing touches on their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday, earning a 3-0 victory in Game 6 at Nationwide Arena. Boston now will take on the Carolina Hurricanes, who swept the New York Islanders in the second round.
The B’s had a goal called back in the first period, but proceeded to put bury one in the second period and a pair in the third to earn the victory.
David Krejci, Marcus Johansson and David Backes accounted for the Bruins’ goals.
Tuukka Rask made 39 saves for the Bruins, while Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 26 shots for Columbus.
Here’s how it all went down:
B’S STRIKE FIRST … KIND OF
The opening period ended scoreless, but only officially. The Bruins had a goal called back shortly before the midway point of the frame.
Sean Kuraly shot the puck from the slot but missed to the left. The puck clanked off Chris Wagner’s skate and started to pinball in front of the crease. Wagner finally got the puck and backhanded it to Kuraly, who buried a shot past Bobrovsky.
The Blue Jackets challenged for goaltender interference and won. Scott Harrington pushed Joakim Nordstrom into Bobrovsky, and Nordstrom gave the netminder an extra, albeit slight, shove. The Blue Jackets winning the challenge indicated that the situation room in Toronto felt the contact from Harrington wasn’t hard enough to force Nordstrom into Bobrovsky, and/or that the contact impeded Bobrovsky from having a fair chance at stopping Kuraly’s shot.
Neither side could find a goal the rest of the period, but the final minutes featured plenty of chances and energy. The Bruins won the shots battle 12-10.
B’S STRIKE FIRST (BUT ACTUALLY THIS TIME)
The Bruins got on the board in the second period, and it did not get called back.
Jake DeBrusk entered the offensive zone on a rush with the Bruins outmanned 3-2, so he fired a shot. It was a nice effort that rung off the post, and the rebound eventually made its way up to Krejci at the top of the circle. The second-line center fired a rocket of a one-timer that beat Bobrovsky at 12:13 to put the B’s on the board first.
The Bruins dodged a bit of a bullet with 20 seconds left in the frame. Josh Anderson gained Columbus’ offensive blue line, and Charlie McAvoy put a big hit on the forward that made contact with the head. While he could have been assessed a major and game misconduct, he only was given a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
Columbus outshot the B’s a whopping 17-5 in the middle period.
A PAIR TO PUT IT AWAY
The Bruins ensured the third period of Game 6 wasn’t as interesting as the third period of Game 5, potting a pair to earn the win.
First, Charlie Coyle entered the attacking zone on a 2-on-2, then dropped a pass to Johansson. After receiving the puck, Johansson cut to the middle of the ice and fired a wrister from the high slot. Bobrovsky got a piece of it, but it flipped in the air and over his head, bouncing into the goal at 8:58.
Just under two minutes later, the B’s added to their lead.
From the point, Krejci fed a pass to Torey Krug as the defenseman dashed along the boards of the attacking end. Krug then sent a nice pass into the slot to Backes, and the winger got a stick on the puck to redirect it past Bobrovsky at 10:39.
The Blue Jackets emptied their net with a few minutes left, but neither side would score the rest of the way.
The B’s now will take on the Hurricanes, with the dates and times still to be determined. The Bruins have home ice advantage though, so Game 1 will take place in Boston.