The Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers to reach the National Hockey League conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Chicago Blackhawks escaped elimination with a win over the Detroit Red Wings.
The Bruins topped the Rangers 3-1 last night to win the second-round, best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. The Blackhawks won 4-1 over the Red Wings, who have a 3-2 series lead as they vie for the chance to play the Los Angeles Kings or San Jose Sharks.
In tonight’s game, the Kings can advance to the Western Conference final with a win over the Sharks in Game 6.
The Bruins needed seven games to win round one against the Toronto Maple Leafs and five games to oust the Rangers.
“We probably played with fire in the first round and almost got burnt,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters. “We knew we couldn’t let our guard down (against New York) because, if we did, they would come right back at us.”
The Rangers trailed by three games to none before winning Game 4.
“I watched our team fight tonight to extend this series. We get it on a big guy’s stick with a chance to tie it,” Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters. “So it goes. They were the better team. They deserved to win.”
Dan Girardi scored to give the Rangers a 1-0 first-period lead.
Torey Krug tied the game at 1-1 in the second period before Gregory Campbell scored the first of his two goals to put the Bruins ahead 2-1 on home ice at TD Garden in Boston. Campbell’s second goal came with 51 seconds left in the game.
“I expected more from us, and I hoped for more,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist who made 29 saves. “Right now, it’s just an empty feeling, and disappointment.”
At United Center in Chicago, Bryan Bickell scored a goal five minutes, 52 seconds before the end of the first period to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Dan Cleary tied the game midway through the second period before the Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews added points for the Blackhawks. Shaw scored his second goal in the final period.
The Red Wings host Game 6 tomorrow.
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