BOSTON — The Bruins defense shut down the potent Pittsburgh Penguins throughout the Eastern Conference finals. Then a Boston defenseman scored the goal that sealed the stunning sweep.
Adam McQuaid scored early in the third period, Tuukka Rask posted his second shutout of the series, and the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup finals with a 1-0 win on Friday night.
The Bruins dominated the series and held the high-scoring Penguins to just two goals. Pittsburgh never even had the lead in any of its four losses.
"I think first and foremost, we're obviously trying to be solid defensively," McQuaid said of the defensemen. "It obviously feels good. It feels good to be able to contribute that way when you don't normally.
"You look at so many great efforts we had from guys. The last 10 minutes of the game, guys were all over the ice, doing whatever it took to preserve that goal."
Boston will face either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings when the Bruins shoot for their second Stanley Cup title in three years.
Chicago leads the Western Conference series 3-1 and can advance to the finals with a home win on Saturday night. If the Blackhawks get there, it will set up the first finals matchup of Original Six NHL franchises since 1979.
The Penguins' season ended swiftly and shockingly as the league's highest-scoring team got no points in the series from offensive stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
"I don't feel like they totally shut us down," Crosby said. "I feel like we got chances, but Rask made some big saves."
McQuaid scored at 5:01 of the final period on a 45-foot slap shot from the right over the glove of goalie Tomas Vokoun.
That unleashed loud chants of "We want the Cup!" from the capacity crowd.
The top-seeded Penguins were trying to overcome both the disciplined defense of the fourth-seeded Bruins and history. Only three teams had lost a series after winning the first three games. The last was the Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers.