BOSTON — Tuukka Rask outplayed the Olympic MVP as the Bruins eliminated Ryan Miller and the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs.
David Krejci had two goals and one assist, and Rask made 27 saves Monday night as Boston beat Buffalo 4-3 in Game 6 to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Bruins, the No. 6 seed, play either Philadelphia (if Montreal wins the final remaining East series over Washington) or Pittsburgh (if top seed Washington prevails) in the next round.
"We wanted to close it out because we didn't want to go back to Buffalo," said Rask, who allowed an average of just more than two goals per game. "We knew it would be tough."
Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist, and Miroslav Satan also scored for the Bruins. It's the Bruins' second playoff series victory — and first clincher at home — since 1999.
Buffalo was 0 for 19 on the power play in the series.
"There wasn't much breathing space the whole series," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "They scored two power-play goals, and we didn't get any. … Overall, it wasn't good enough. That's the bottom line."
|Bruins win series 4-2|
First Period—1, Boston, Krejci 2 (Recchi, Hunwick), 13:39 (pp). Penalties—Begin, Bos (cross-checking), 2:32; Montador, Buf (interference), 12:34; Tallinder, Buf (delay of game), 19:54; Chara, Bos (roughing), 20:00.
Second Period—2, Boston, Recchi 3 (Krejci, Bergeron), 1:01 (pp). 3, Buffalo, Kaleta 1 (Kennedy, Mair), 6:34. Penalties—Connolly, Buf (cross-checking), :16; Lucic, Bos (roughing), 4:11; Boston bench, served by Thornton (too many men), 17:41.
Third Period—4, Boston, Krejci 3 (Lucic, Satan), 7:18. 5, Buffalo, Gerbe 1, 7:40. 6, Boston, Satan 2 (Lucic, Wideman), 14:49. 7, Buffalo, Vanek 2 (Pominville, Lydman), 18:47. Penalties—Mair, Buf, double minor (high-sticking), 3:06. Shots on Goal—Buffalo 14-5-11—30. Boston 11-8-13—32. Power-play opportunities—Buffalo 0 of 3; Boston 2 of 5. Goalies—Buffalo, Miller 2-4-0 (32 shots-28 saves). Boston, Rask 4-2-0 (30-27). A—17,565 (17,565). T—2:28. Referees—Stephen Walkom, Eric Furlatt. Linesmen—Scott Driscoll, Pierre Racicot.
HABS FORCE GAME 7: Jaroslav Halak made 53 saves, and Michael Cammalleri scored twice in the first for the eighth-seeded Canadiens, who stayed alive with a 4-1 win over the visiting Capitals to force Game 7.
Halak won his second straight start despite the top-seeded Capitals' 54-22 advantage in shots. He topped Ken Dryden's team record of 49 saves in a regulation playoff game, set in 1971.
"It'll be on ESPN Classic tomorrow as one of the greatest goalie performances," Cammalleri said.
Game 7 is Wednesday night in Washington.
|Series tied 3-3|
First Period—1, Montreal, Cammalleri 4 (Bergeron), 7:30 (pp). 2, Montreal, Cammalleri 5 (Subban, Plekanec), 9:09. Penalties—Morrisonn, Was (cross-checking), 7:06; Green, Was (elbowing), 11:30; Metropolit, Mon (holding), 13:10; Hamrlik, Mon (delay of game), 13:56.
Second Period—None. Penalties—O'Byrne, Mon (holding), 1:56; Lapierre, Mon (diving), 5:46; Green, Was (tripping), 11:02; Fehr, Was (cross-checking), 18:37.
Third Period—3, Montreal, Lapierre 1 (Gorges), 4:17. 4, Washington, Fehr 3 (Green, Chimera), 15:10. 5, Montreal, Plekanec 4 (Cammalleri, A.Kostitsyn), 19:03 (en). Penalties—Fleischmann, Was (tripping), 4:44; Gionta, Mon (diving), 4:44; Lapierre, Mon (diving), 6:32; Belanger, Was (hooking), 9:12; O'Byrne, Mon (interference), 12:42. Shots on Goal—Washington 18-14-22—54. Montreal 10-3-9—22. Power-play opportunities—Washington 0 of 6; Montreal 1 of 5. Goalies—Washington, Varlamov 3-2-0 (21 shots-18 saves). Montreal, Halak 3-2-0 (54-53). A—21,273 (21,273). T—2:24. Referees—Tim Peel, Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen—Derek Amell, Jonny Murray.
BLACKHAWKS ADVANCE: Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal to cap a wild first period, and Chicago held on for a 5-3 victory at Nashville to advance to the West semifinals for the second straight year. Nashville's Patric Hornqvist returned and had an assist; he had missed four games after being hurt April 7 by a slap shot from teammate Shea Weber.
|Blackhawks win series 4-2|
First Period—1, Chicago, Keith 1 (Hossa, Sharp), 6:38. 2, Nashville, Weber 2 (Tootoo, Wilson), 8:50. 3, Chicago, Kane 4 (Seabrook, Toews), 9:54. 4, Chicago, Sharp 3 (Hossa, Seabrook), 12:03. 5, Nashville, Arnott 1 (Hornqvist, Weber), 15:44 (pp). 6, Nashville, Arnott 2 (Hamhuis, Erat), 19:05. 7, Chicago, Toews 2 (Sharp, Keith), 19:29 (pp). Penalties—Bickell, Chi (holding), 3:26; Hjalmarsson, Chi (slashing), 15:17; Smithson, Nas (hooking), 19:22.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Nashville bench, served by Dumont (too many men), 3:27; Weber, Nas (slashing), 6:56; Goc, Nas (slashing), 10:40; Hornqvist, Nas, double minor (high-sticking), 14:04.
Third Period—8, Chicago, Madden 1 (Toews, Hossa), 19:52 (en). Penalties—Sopel, Chi (tripping), 3:36; Byfuglien, Chi (interference), 5:57; Sopel, Chi (hooking), 8:05. Shots on Goal—Chicago 13-16-3—32. Nashville 9-4-15—28. Power-play opportunities—Chicago 1 of 6; Nashville 1 of 5. Goalies—Chicago, Niemi 4-2-0 (28 shots-25 saves). Nashville, Rinne 2-4-0 (31-27). A—17,113 (17,113). T—2:28. Referees—Marc Joannette, Chris Lee. Linesmen—Steve Miller, Shane Heyer.
LIGHTNING FINALIST: Lightning defenseman Kurtis Foster was named one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Sharks forward Jed Ortmeyer and Capitals goalie Jose Theodore are the other finalists. The winner will be named June 23 at the NHL awards show in Las Vegas.