Home » Blog » Bruins Top Rangers, Join Pens in East Finals

Bruins Top Rangers, Join Pens in East Finals

The Boston Bruins celebrate on the way to eliminating the New York Rangers.

The Boston Bruins celebrate eliminating the New York Rangers.

The Boston Bruins came from behind Saturday evening, handing the New York Rangers a 3-1 defeat, securing a 4-1 series win in the process.

After losing a nail-biter in overtime on Thursday, the Bruins avoided another potential pitfall and managed to edge the preseason Stanley Cup favorites in regulation.

Boston’s reward for defeating the Rangers is an Eastern Conference finals showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game 5 Recap

Having allowed the Toronto Maple Leafs to come back from a 3-1 deficit to force a Game 7, the Boston Bruins weren’t going to suffer the same tension twice.

Returning to TD Garden in Boston for Game 5, the Bruins knew a victory would put an end to the Rangers. Claude Julien’s side also knew that a loss would not only put the Rangers back in contention but also give the Penguins – who advanced to the conference finals on Friday night – the added advantage of extra rest.

Things got off to a testy start as Shawn Thornton and Derek Dorsett were assessed a combined 14 penalty minutes for fighting little more than six minutes into the game.

The Bruins then found themselves on the back foot as the Rangers’ power play – which has been anemic this postseason – tallied a goal for the second straight game. Dan Girardi’s shot beat Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask 10:39 into the game to give New York a 1-0 lead.

Fortunately for the Bruins, it would be the only goal Rask (8-4-0) would allow in the game. The netminder stopped 28 of 29 shots (.966 SV%).

The Bruins tied the game early in the second, making the most of a man advantage. Torey King netted his fourth goal of the postseason, beating Henrik Lundquist.

Once again it was Boston’s fourth line that came through for the Bruins. Gregory Campbell scored the second period go-ahead goal before adding an empty netter with 0:51 left in the third.

With that goal came the end of a disappointing season for the New York Rangers. 8/1 favorites to lift the Stanley Cup on Jan. 15, the side ultimately fell to a better team.


“We needed to get a number of different things from different players more consistently,” Rangers’ coach John Tortorella told the New York Times.

The Rangers certainly needed more from its power play, which was just 4-44 during the postseason.

The Bruins meanwhile enjoyed the satisfaction of eliminating a second straight ‘Original Six’ rival. A win over the Penguins could, at a stretch, set up the chance to eliminate a third. Of course, that would depend on either the Detroit Red Wings or Chicago Blackhawks making the Stanley Cup.

But now we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

At a Glance: Eastern Conference Finals

The Bruins will now face a Pittsburgh Penguins side that opened the season as the joint favorite (with the Rangers) to win the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins downed the Ottawa Senators Friday night for an identical 4-1 series win.

According to Hockey-Reference.com, the Bruins are 103-59-21-5 against the Penguins all-time. However, Pittsburgh took both regular season meetings between the teams this campaign.

21 years after eliminating the Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals, Jaromir Jagr finds himself on the other side of the puck

21 years after eliminating the Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals, Jaromir Jagr finds himself on the other side of the puck

The two sides have met four times in the postseason, each winning a pair of series. Boston defeated Pittsburgh 4-0 in 1979 and 3-2 in 1980, while Pittsburgh defeated Boston 4-2 in 1991 and 4-0 in 1992. Pittsburgh’s series wins came in the then-Prince of Wales Conference finals. Led by the tandem of Jaromir Jagr – who will be on the other side of the puck this time round – and Mario Lemieux, the Penguins would go on to win the Stanley Cup following each of those series.  

Pittsburgh is 8-2 overall against Boston in conference finals games.

Since the introduction of the Clarence Campbell (West) and Prince of Wales (East) conferences ahead of the 1974-75 season, Boston has advanced to the conference finals on 10 occasions, winning five series and losing five. The Bruins are 30-27 (.526) in games played during that span.

Pittsburgh has reached the conference finals on seven occasions since 1975, recording a 4-3 record. The Penguins are 22-17 (.564) in games played during those seven series.

The top-seeded Penguins will be the favorite when sportsbooks begin to list their betting lines.

BettingSports will have all the latest NHL odds ahead of the series.

  • 100%