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Sweep Success

McQuaid’s Goal Sends Bruins Back to Finals

  • Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63), right wing Nathan Horton, second from left, and defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrate a goal by defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the third period of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Boston on Friday, June 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63), right wing Nathan Horton, second from left, and defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrate a goal by defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the third period of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Boston on Friday, June 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63), right wing Nathan Horton, second from left, and defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrate a goal by defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the third period of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Boston on Friday, June 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston — Adam McQuaid scored early in the third period, Tuukka Rask posted his second shutout of the series, and the Boston Bruins swept their way to the Stanley Cup finals with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

The Bruins won the Eastern Conference finals 4-0 and held the high-scoring Penguins to just two goals in the stunning sweep.

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.

“He is the best player in the world,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said of Crosby. “We did a good job with that.”

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.

“We were a little sluggish the first two periods,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said, “and we said, ‘We have to win a period to win a series.’”

They did just that.

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.

Pittsburgh, which never led in any of the four games against the Bruins, was swept for the first time in 47 series. The last team to do it to the Penguins was Boston in 1979.

The Penguins also lost the first three games of their opening-round series last year against Philadelphia before being eliminated in six games.

Rask was solid again with 26 saves, but didn’t have to stop many challenging shots. His last save came with his glove at the final buzzer on Matt Niskanen’s shot from 40 feet.

“He has been the reason why we’re here,” Bergeron said of Rask. “We just played our game the whole time. We put a lot of pressure in their zone.”

The Penguins had been shut out just twice in their previous 147 games before being blanked twice in the four games against the Bruins. Pittsburgh lost Game 1 at home 3-0.

McQuaid scored his second goal of the playoffs after the defenseman managed just one in 32 games during the regular season.

Brad Marchand held the puck along the left boards in the offensive zone and waited for McQuaid to skate up ice. Marchand fed the puck toward the blue line where McQuaid, with no Penguins player close to him, unleashed the winning shot.

There was little sustained offense in the first two periods when Pittsburgh outshot Boston 20-17.

Boston’s Kaspars Daugavins hit a post at 2:56 of the second period during his first appearance in the series. Daugavins replaced injured center Gregory Campbell, who broke his leg in the second period of Boston’s 2-1, double-overtime win in Game 3 on Wednesday night.

At 10:56 of the second on Friday, Vokoun made a save with his right pad against streaking Tyler Seguin from the left side.

The Bruins got this far by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round and then taking out the New York Rangers in five to reach the East finals.

Boston rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period of Game 7 against Toronto just to reach the second round.

“It seems like a lifetime ago,” Lucic said. “Without that Game 7, to come back and win it, if it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t be here right now.”

Notes: John Krasinski, star of The Office and a native of nearby Newton, was in the stands with his wife, actress Emily Blunt. ... William and Patricia Campbell, whose daughter Krystle died in the Boston Marathon bombings, waved the “Fan Banner,” a traditional part of pregame activities. ... Campbell’s father, Colin, was a defenseman on the 1979 Penguins, who were swept by the Bruins. Gregory Campbell gave a wave to the crowd when he was shown on the arena video board.