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Bruins end Hurricanes' season with sweep in Eastern Conference finals

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes promised to fight to the end.

The Canes did. But the end did inevitably come Thursday.

The Boston Bruins finished off a sweep of the Canes in the Eastern Conference finals at PNC Arena, taking a 4-0 victory.

The Bruins won the fourth game much like they won the first three, with a spotless performance from goalie Tuukka Rask and a decided edge in special teams. Patrice Bergeron scored twice and had an assist, and David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who will face the San Jose Sharks or St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup final.

While the Canes continued to sputter on the power play and penalty kill, the Bruins scored twice in the second period as Pastrnak and Bergeron supplied the power-play goals. With a 2-0 lead after two, and Rask stopping everything the game was more or less decided, and Bergeron added an even-strength score and Brad Marchand an empty-netter in the third.

The game ended with Canes fans chanting "Let's go Canes!" and on their feet cheering their team.

 

The first Bruins score came after the Canes were called for too many men on the ice. The second came after the Canes' Greg McKegg made a strong power move to the net, only to have the puck tipped away and then smack into Rask for a goaltender interference penalty.

So it went for the Canes, whose first trip to the playoffs since 2009 produced a thrilling seven-game series win over the Washington Capitals and then a sweep of the New York Islanders.

But the Canes finished the conference finals 1 for 14 on the power play and 5 for 52 in the playoffs while the Bruins were 7 of 15 in the series. Crunch those numbers and it added up to a Bruins sweep.

The Bruins played Thursday without injured defenseman Zdeno Chara and fourth-line forward Chris Wagner, but didn't need them this night. Canes forward Jordan Martinook also missed another game with a lower-body injury.

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