THREE HARD LAPS: QUICK HITS FROM THURSDAY
* “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand combined for all four goals as the Bruins swept the Hurricanes to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
* Tuukka Rask blanked Carolina to record his second clinching shutout in as many series and the third of his NHL career overall.
* The Sharks and Blues face off in a pivotal Game 4 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
BRUINS SWEEP HURRICANES, ADVANCE TO STANLEY CUP FINAL
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves and the line of Patrice Bergeron (2-1—3), David Pastrnak (1-2—3) and Brad Marchand (1-1—2) combined for 4-4—8 as Boston swept Carolina to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the 20th time in franchise history and third in the last eight years (2011 and 2013).
* The Bruins became the fourth franchise in NHL history to reach the Stanley Cup Final 20 or more times, joining the Canadiens (32), Red Wings (24) and Maple Leafs (21). Ten of Boston’s 20 all-time Stanley Cup Final appearances have occurred in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68), the second-most in that span behind only Montreal (11).
* Boston swept a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the 15th time in franchise history and sixth time in the Conference Finals/Semifinals (also 1970 vs. CHI, 1972 vs. STL, 1977 vs. PHI, 1990 vs. WSH and 2013 vs. PIT). The four-game triumph over the Penguins in the 2013 Conference Finals was also their last sweep overall.
* The Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Final with a 7-0 record in their last seven games, marking the third-longest single-postseason win streak in franchise history behind runs of 10-0 in 1970 and 9-0 in 1972.
* Boston will face either San Jose or St. Louis in the Stanley Cup Final, with the former owning a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final. The Bruins are 2-0 in two all-time head to-head postseason meetings with the Blues, earning four-game sweeps in the 1970 Stanley Cup Final and 1972 Semifinals; Boston has never faced San Jose in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Despite missing his first postseason game since 2011, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara suited up to hit the ice with his teammates for the presentation of the Prince of Wales Trophy.
RASK RECORDS SECOND CLINCHING SHUTOUT IN AS MANY SERIES
Tuukka Rask recorded his third career series-clinching shutout and second of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also Game 4 of 2013 CF and Game 6 of 2019 R2). He established a franchise record for most series-clinching shutouts, eclipsing the mark for two set by Gerry Cheevers (Game 6 of 1972 SCF, Game 4 of 1977 SF) and matched by Tim Thomas (Game 7 of 2011 CF, Game 7 of 2011 SCF).
* Rask became the third goaltender in NHL history to record multiple series-clinching shutouts in the Conference Finals/Semifinals, joining Jacques Plante (3) and Glenn Hall (2). Rask improved to 8-0 in eight career appearances in the Conference Finals (also 4-0 in 2013); he became the seventh different goaltender in League history to earn wins in eight or more consecutive appearances in the Conference Finals/Semifinals.
* Rask extended his personal win streak to seven games, the second-longest by a Bruins goaltender in a playoff year behind only a 10-0 run by Cheevers in 1970. Overall, Rask improved to 12-5 in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.84 GAA, .942 SV%, 2 SO), including a 6-2 mark on the road (1.64 GAA, .952 SV%, 2 SO).
* Rask recorded his seventh career shutout in the Stanley Cup Playoffs overall and passed Miikka Kiprusoff (6) for the most in NHL history by a Finnish-born goaltender.
LINE OF BERGERON, PASTRNAK AND MARCHAND COMBINE FOR ALL FOUR GOALS
* Patrice Bergeron scored his League-leading sixth power-play goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the second-most in a postseason by a Bruins player behind only Cam Neely in 1991 (9) – who shares the NHL record for most in playoff year (w/ Mike Bossy in 1981). Boston leads the League with 17 power-play goals in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the fourth-highest total in a postseason in franchise history.
* Bergeron scored his 38th and 39th career goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (39-60—99 in 129 GP) to leapfrog Peter McNab (38-36—74 in 79 GP) for sole possession of fifth place on the franchise’s all-time list. Bergeron moved within one point of becoming the sixth player in Bruins history to collect 100 career postseason points – a milestone teammate David Krejci (36-65—101 in 125 GP) reached in Game 3.
* David Pastrnak scored his 15th career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (15-24—39 in 35 GP), the second-most by a Bruins player before turning 23 behind only Barry Pederson (21-29—50 in 28 GP). Pastrnak has scored 147 career NHL goals (regular season and playoffs combined), the highest such total by a Bruins player before celebrating their 23rd birthday – six more than Pederson (141).
* The line of Bergeron (8-5—13 in 17 GP), Pastrnak (7-8—15 in 17 GP) and Brad Marchand (7-11—18 in 17 GP) have combined for over a third of the Bruins’ goals in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (22 of 57; 38.6%), including six game winners.
SHARKS, BLUES SET FOR PIVOTAL GAME 4 IN ST. LOUIS
After Erik Karlsson’s overtime winner gave San Jose a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final on Wednesday, the Sharks and Blues will face off in a pivotal Game 4 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Friday. There have been 36 one-goal games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, eight more than all of 2018 (28).
* The Sharks hold a 2-1 lead in a best-of-seven series for the 16th time in franchise history and own an all-time series record of 11-4 in the 15 previous instances. San Jose is up 2-1 in the Conference Finals for the second time in franchise history – they also held a 2-1 advantage against St. Louis in the 2016 Western Conference Final before advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.
* San Jose has been led offensively by Logan Couture, who has found the back of the net in each game of the Western Conference Final while also pacing the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals and points (14-6—20 in 17 GP). The 30-year-old forward sits one goal shy of matching Sidney Crosby (15 in 2009) and Alex Ovechkin (15 in 2018) for the highest goal total in a single postseason over the last 22 years. He also sits within five of the NHL record for most goals in a playoff year, set by Philadelphia’s Reggie Leach in 1976 (19-5—24 in 16 GP) and matched by Edmonton’s Jari Kurri in 1985 (19-12—31 in 18 GP).
* In his second career appearance in the Conference Finals, Karlsson (2-13—15 in 17 GP) scored his first two goals of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 3, including the overtime winner. During Ottawa’s run to the Conference Finals in 2017, the two-time Norris Trophy winner collected 2-16—18 in 19 postseason games and 0-5—5 in the Eastern Conference Final before his club bowed out to the Penguins in seven contests.
* Karlsson is tied with teammate Brent Burns (5-10—15 in 17 GP) for the most points among defensemen in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It marks the first time in 20 years that a pair of defensemen on the same team both reached the 15-point mark in a postseason; the last instance occurred in 1999, when Sabres blueliners Jason Woolley (4-11—15 in 21 GP) and Alexei Zhitnik (4-11—15 in 21 GP) did so.
* A pair of Blues players can establish franchise records in Game 4. Goaltender Jordan Binnington (9-7) sits one win shy of setting the Blues record in a single postseason, while captain Alex Pietrangelo (2-10—12 in 16 GP) needs one point for the most in a playoff year by a St. Louis defenseman.
* Like Karlsson, David Perron also scored twice in Game 3 and is tied for fourth on the club with 5-5—10 in 16 games this postseason. He is making his second consecutive appearance in the Western Conference Final after posting 1-8—9 in 15 games during the Golden Knights’ historic run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.