After losing Game 1, 3-2, in overtime on May 15 to the Washington Capitals in their best-of-seven first-round series, the Boston Bruins did what good teams do, they responded and responded in a very big way.
After winning Games 2 and 3 in overtime, the Black and Gold put together a dominating performance in Game 4 with a 4-1 victory for a commanding 3-1 series lead. Sunday night at Capital One Arena in Washington, the Bruins had their first of three chances to close the series and did not miss.
Despite being outshot by more than a two-to-one margin (41-19), the Bruins dug deep against the desperate Capitals and withstood a third-period onslaught from the Caps to win, 3-1, and end the series in five games to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against either the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Islanders. That series is tied 2-2.
After Connor Sheary cut the deficit in half 11 seconds into the third period, the Black and Gold withstood a push from the Capitals, and once again, it was Bergeron, the Bruins captain, who restored order with a goal with under eight minutes left for a 3-1 lead. It was Boston’s top-line that stepped up when they needed it in a game where the Caps were playing for their season in their own arena.
In the previous three games, the Bruins were the better team overall and played a better game, but because of Tuukka Rask’s 40 saves Sunday night, they were able to advance with the victory.
The Bruins will get some well-earned rest as there are still at least two games remaining between the Islanders and Penguins, but Tom Wilson and his teammates are off for summer vacation. Was this also the last game for former Bruin Zdeno Chara, who left for the Nations Capital in December in free agency? He still has one year left on his contract, but one has to wonder if he calls it a career this summer.