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Stanley Cup: 60 - May 16

20 May 2019

Coach Bruce Cassidy said the decision to hold Zdeno Chara out of Game 4 was precautionary and expects the Bruins captain back for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

When the puck drops for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, it will be the Bruins first game in 11 days. With Rask stopping 109 of the 114 shots he faced in the series, the Bruins trailed in only one game - the first one. Their chance to lift another banner into the TD Garden will come soon enough as Boston now awaits the victor of the series between the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks.

But is having time off after the conference final really a boon to a team's Stanley Cup hopes?

Watch NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games on fuboTV. Chara is headed to the Hall of Fame once he retires regardless of what happens, but a second Stanley Cup could be the final accomplishment that punches the Hall ticket for Bergeron as well. Perhaps they might grumble at the occasional mistake, emotional flare up, or bit of detached-looking body language when Karlsson's on the ice for an opponent's goal, but they're likely ecstatic with the ultimate results. The Bruins scored 10 consecutive goals during a stretch that spanned the first two games.

The Bruins hope to have one of their best assets back on the ice for their last series of the postseason.

So it was no surprise that Boston took control with its best-in-the-playoffs power-play unit. Teammate David Krejci, who had an assist Thursday, reached the milestone in Game 3.

That being said, Sweeney exhibited little concern about the extended break negatively impacting the Bruins' play. Once it was in Game 2 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, which was a double-overtime game and the second time it happened in Game 5 against the Blue Jackets, which the Bruins won. San Jose leads 2-1 in a conference final for the second time; the Sharks led St. Louis 2-1 in the 2016 Western Conference Final and won the series in six games. In Game 4, Carolina just couldn't sustain any pressure.

San Jose center Logan Couture leads the playoffs in goals (14) and points (20).

The Chicago Blackhawks are the standard-bearer with three Stanley Cup titles, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who also hoisted the Cup three times the past decade with their core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, surrounded by a couple of vastly different-looking supporting casts. Alex Pietrangelo, who has 12 points (two goals, 12 assists) needs one point for the most in a playoff season by a defenseman; he's tied with Joe Micheletti (1981), Jeff Brown (1990, 1991) and Al MacInnis (1999).

Stanley Cup: 60 - May 16