THREE HARD LAPS: QUICK HITS FROM TUESDAY
* The Bruins took a commanding 3-0 series lead and moved within one win of their 20th all-time appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Teams that take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series own an all-time series record of 189-4 (97.9%) – including a 3-0 mark in 2019.
* Tuukka Rask made 20 saves in the first period (35 overall) to extend his win streak to six games – the longest by a Bruins goalie in 31 years – and join a short list of top road playoff performers.
* After pulling even in San Jose, the Blues return home for Game 3 against the Sharks.
RASK BACKSTOPS BRUINS TO 3-0 SERIES LEAD
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves – stopping all 20 shots he faced in the first period (including 11 in the opening 6:30) – as the Bruins handed the Hurricanes their first home loss of the 2019 playoffs and took a 3-0 series lead. Boston moved within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the 20th time in franchise history and third time in the past eight years (2011 and 2013).
* The Bruins own a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series for the 21st time in franchise history, holding an all-time series record of 19-1 in the 20 previous instances. Boston’s lone loss came to Philadelphia in the 2010 Conference Semifinals.
* The Bruins are up 3-0 in a Conference Finals/Semifinals for the eighth time in franchise history and own an all-time series record of 7-0 in the seven previous instances, including five sweeps.
* Boston improved to 6-0 in its last six games, marking its longest playoff win streak in 41 years and tied for the third-longest postseason win streak in franchise history.
* After posting a 49-24-9 record in the regular season, Boston improved to 11-5 in the playoffs. The Bruins earned 60 or more combined wins in a campaign for the eighth time.
* Rask extended his win streak to six games, the longest by a Bruins goaltender in 31 years – Reggie Lemelin had an equal run to help Boston reach the 1988 Stanley Cup Final. Only one goaltender in franchise history has recorded a longer win streak in a postseason: Gerry Cheevers won 10 straight games in 1970 to backstop Boston to its fourth Stanley Cup.
* Rask became the third goaltender in franchise history to record a personal win streak of at least six games in both the regular season and playoffs during the same year; he joined Frank Brimsek in 1940-41 and Eddie Johnston in 1971-72.
* Rask made 98 consecutive saves on the road before allowing a goal at 13:48 of the second period. He became the first goaltender to make 98 or more consecutive saves as a visitor in a postseason since Toronto’s Curtis Joseph made 113 straight stops on the road during the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Rask owns a career road goals-against average of 2.02 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (37 GP), the third-lowest in NHL history among goaltenders to appear in at least 25 postseason games as a visitor. Neither goaltender ahead of him on that list has played an NHL game in the last 67 years – George Hainsworth (1.86 GAA) and Turk Broda (1.87 GAA) made their final playoff appearances in 1936 and 1952, respectively.
NEWCOMER WAGNER, VETERANS KREJCI, MARCHAND PROVIDE OFFENSE
Offseason acquisition Chris Wagner scored the opening goal while Bruins veterans Brad Marchand (GWG) and David Krejci (0-1—1) also found the score sheet in Game 3:
* Wagner scored his second goal of the Conference Finals after being held off the score sheet in the Bruins’ opening two rounds of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Signed as a free agent in July 2018, Wagner (Walpole, Mass.) is one of three Massachusetts-born players to play for Boston this postseason – with each of them scoring in the Conference Finals (also Charlie Coyle and Matt Grzelcyk).
* The trio of Wagner (2-0—2 in 12 GP), Coyle (6-6—12 in 16 GP) and Grzelcyk (3-4—7 in 16 GP) have combined for over a fifth of the Bruins’ goals in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (11 of 53; 20.8%).
* Krejci collected an assist on the game-winning goal by Marchand to record his 100th career point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (36-64—100 in 124 GP) and move into a tie for third place on the franchise’s all-time postseason points list, trailing only Ray Bourque (36-125—161 in 180 GP) and Phil Esposito (46-56—102 in 71 GP).
* Krejci (Sternberk, Czech Republic) became the third Czech Republic-born player to record 100 or more points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, joining Jaromir Jagr (78-123—201 in 208 GP) and Patrik Elias (45-80—125 in 162 GP).
* Marchand, who appeared in his 100th career postseason game, scored his second game-winning goal in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff (also Game 2 of R1 vs. TOR). He paces the Bruins with 16 points this postseason (6-10—16 in 16 GP).
DID YOU KNOW?
Only four teams in NHL history have overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win, with the last two such instances having ties to both teams involved in the Eastern Conference Final (2014 R1: LAK def. SJS; 2010 CSF: PHI def. BOS; 1975 QF: NYI def. PIT; and 1942 SCF: TOR def. DET).
* Current Hurricanes captain Justin Williams was part of the last group to do so, collecting each of his six points in the 2014 First Round in Games 4-7 for the Kings as he helped them rally past the Sharks en route to winning both the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy.
GATEWAY TO THE WEST WELCOMES BLUES, SHARKS FOR GAME 3
After earning a split in San Jose, the Blues return home to Enterprise Center in St. Louis for Game 3 against the Sharks. The clubs also were tied 1-1 in the 2016 Western Conference Final, with San Jose winning Game 3 at home – via two goals from Tomas Hertl and a 22-save shutout by Martin Jones – en route to a six-game series victory.
* ICYMI: Laila Anderson, a young Blues fan who found a bone marrow match in December thanks in part to the organization, will be headed to her first playoff game tonight. Click here to learn more about Laila and watch as she gets the news about going to Game 3.
* The Blues are tied 1-1 for the fourth time in eight trips to the Conference Finals/Semifinals. They also split the first two games in 1968 against the North Stars, 1986 against the Flames and 2016 against the Sharks – they lost Game 3 in each of those instances, but rallied to win the series in 1968 against Minnesota.
* San Jose owns an 11-7 series record when a series is tied 1-1 (.611), including a perfect 6-0 series record when splitting the first two games at home. St. Louis, meanwhile, is 12-19 in 31 previous best-of-seven series that were tied 1-1 (.387), including a 4-8 mark when starting on the road.
* Sharks forward Logan Couture leads the League with 13 goals and 19 points in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (13-6—19 in 16 GP) and has scored twice in both games of the Western Conference Final. He is one goal shy of matching the franchise record for most in a postseason, a mark set by teammate Joe Pavelski in 2016 (14-9—23 in 24 GP).
* Couture is one goal/assist shy of reaching the 20-point mark in a postseason for the second time in his NHL career and first since 2016, when he established a franchise record for most in a playoff year with 30 (10-20—30 in 24 GP). He can become the first player in Sharks history to reach the 20-point mark in multiple postseasons – a feat teammate Brent Burns (5-10—15 in 16 GP) is also within striking distance of accomplishing.
* Couture can become the second player in franchise history to score multiple goals in three consecutive team games within a playoff year; he would join Pavelski, who did so during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs (6-3—9 in 3 GP).
* Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo scored the winner in Game 2 – his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (1-2—3 in 31 GP). Defensemen have combined for seven of St. Louis’ 41 goals in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (17.1%), the highest such percentage among remaining teams. Jordan Binnington (9-6) sits one win shy of setting the franchise record for a single postseason, while captain Alex Pietrangelo (2-10—12) needs one point for the most in a playoff year by a Blues defenseman.
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