The Bruins eliminated the Detroit Red Wings with a 4-2 victory in Game 5 Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, winning the best-of-seven first-round series 4-1.
The Bruins received power-play goals from Loui Eriksson and Zdeno Chara, and Milan Lucic contributed an even-strength goal en route to victory. Jarome Iginla added a late empty-netter. Boston defenseman Torey Krug had two assists, and goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 31 saves.
Special teams came up big for the Bruins. In addition to the two power-play goals, Boston's penalty kill went 6-for-7.
The Bruins wanted to make their presence known early and often, and they were able to accomplish that in the first period. So many times, Boston has benefited from a timely save by Rask, which gives the offense some momentum, and that's what happened less than two minutes into the game. Detroit controlled the puck in the offensive zone when Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey took a shot from the left point. Detroit had plenty of traffic in front, but Rask made a huge glove save to stifle the opportunity.
The Bruins then gained their first man advantage of the game and capitalized on it when Eriksson scored at 3:27 to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton skated the puck end to end and made a centering pass when he reached the offensive goal line. The puck ricocheted off a Detroit defender, and Eriksson collected it and beat Gustavsson. The tally was Eriksson's first playoff goal since 2008.
In the second period, the Red Wings started to control the play and finally tied the score at 1-1 when Datsyuk scored a power-play goal at 14:41. With Lucic in the box on a questionable high-sticking call, Detroit capitalized. Rask made the initial save on a puck that appeared to be knuckling, but Datsyuk collected the rebound and beat a sprawling Rask.
The Bruins regained their lead when Chara scored during a 4-on-3 advantage to put Boston up 2-1 in the closing seconds of the second period. The Bruins controlled the puck in the corner to the right of Gustavsson when Bergeron made a sharp, tape-to-tape cross-ice pass to Chara, who blasted a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle that beat Gustavsson to the top right corner. With that goal, the Bruins improved their power play to 6-for-13 in this series.
The Bruins gained a 3-1 lead at 4:27 of the third period. Boston forward Carl Soderberg, who has played well in this entire series, had a golden opportunity, but Gustavsson made a terrific save on Soderberg's shot from the slot. Play continued, and, when Detroit failed to clear the zone, Krug gained control and made a nifty pass to Lucic, who was camped out front and pumped it in to give the Bruins a two-goal advantage.
Detroit cut its deficit after Rask made a huge save on the Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader; Zetterberg was there for the rebound and pumped it past Rask at 16:08 of the third period.
Iginla added the empty-net goal with 15.2 seconds remaining for a 4-2 win.
Rask came up with some timely saves in the third period to secure the lead as Boston advances in the Stanley Cup playoffs to face the Canadiens. These teams last faced each other in the playoffs in 2011, when the Bruins won that series in a dramatic seven games. Boston won the Cup that spring.