Boston Bruins reached their 20th Stanley Cup Final and third in the past nine seasons, after completing a clean sweep against Eastern rivals the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0.
Carolina, who reached the play-offs via a wild card, were always up against a much stronger unit in the shape of the Bruins after losing the opening game 5-2 in Boston. Two powerplay goals 28 seconds apart in the third period sealed the opening game win for Boston.
In game two once again it was Bruins who recorded another victory, this time by 6-2 at TD Garden. Matt Grzelcyk with a brace and three assists from Charlie Coyle and Torey Krug paved the way for Boston to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Canes had to get back in the series by winning game three but were shaded out 2-1 at PNC Arena.
Tuukka Rask was in outstanding form by turning away 35 shots. Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored for Boston with Calvin De Haan replying for the home side.
Bruins wrapped up the series with another professional display by defeating the Hurricanes 4-0 to win the Eastern Conference Title and book their place in the final. David Pastrnak picked up three points on the night with Patrice Bergeron bagging a couple of power play goals – to make it seven in the series.
Boston are certainly on a hot streak after winning seven straight games since trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round.
Bruins reward for defeating the Hurricanes will be a final against either Wester Conference opponents St. Louis Blues or San Jose Sharks.
As of Friday, Sharks had taken a slender 2-1 lead in the series. The opening game played at the home of the Sharks went the way of the hosts by 6-3 with Timo Meier and Logan Couture picking up 2+1. The win meant that San Jose had continued their winning ways in playoffs with a 7-2 home record.
St. Louis Blues hit back in game two to level the series after a 4-2 victory. Robert Bortuzzo scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, with the defenseman on hand to score at 16:34 after Couture scored twice earlier in the period.
San Jose Sharks claimed a narrow 5-4 overtime winner to nudge ahead in the series 2-1 on Thursday.
Erik Karlsson scored 5.23 into OT to give San Jose the win at Enterprise Centre. Karlsson, bagged a brace with Couture tying the game for the Sharks with a minute left of the third period.