Rask made 39 saves in Game 6 to help Boston advance to the Eastern Conference Final to face Carolina.
The series started as a goalie battle between Tuukka Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky. Both made outrageous saves and had moments of brilliance, but the Finn outlasted the Russian in the end, silencing Columbus’s cannon in a 3–0 Game 6 win to eliminate the Blue Jackets.
After Columbus’s Game 5 loss, John Tortorella promised the Blue Jackets would be back in Boston for a Game 7, but it wouldn’t be so. His team had plenty of scoring chances but Rask was just too zoned in to let anything through. It didn’t help that Columbus had some pretty bad puck luck throughout the game, hitting the post multiple times. Rask looked far from dented, as Tortorella suggested Monday morning. Instead Rask looked completely unconscious as he posted his sixth career postseason shutout, his first of these playoffs.
It seemed like luck was originally on the Blue Jackets’ side, however. As a power play was expiring, the Bruins thought they took a 1–0 lead when a shot from Ohio native Sean Kuraly made it into the net. But after review, the goal was overturned for goaltender interference as Joakim Nordstrom bumped Bobrovsky in the crease.
The overall pace to the start of the game was wild, and it was even wilder that it was scoreless after one. That would change in the second period when David Krejci nabbed his fourth goal of the postseason. A shot from Jake DeBrusk went off the post and the rebound bounced off the boards and straight to Krejci, who unleashed a powerful one-timer that went far side on Bobrovsky.
“I hear people saying they come into another team’s building ‘well we got to weather the storm.’ Well we want to create the storm,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after the game. “We’re not interested in weathering any storm.”
And of course the game didn’t come without at least one controversy. Thursday’s came in the form of an illegal check to the head delivered from Charlie McAvoy onto Josh Anderson with 20 seconds left in the second. McAvoy was given a minor penalty for the hit, but many were surprised McAvoy wasn’t given more, including a Blue Jackets fan who threw a bag of peanuts onto the ice.
The Bruins pulled away midway through the third when a Marcus Johansson shot trickled past Bobrovsky. David Backes made it 3–0 a few minutes later and now the Bruins will move on to the Eastern Conference Final, where they will take on the Hurricanes, who also seem to enjoy creating storms of their own.
The Blue Jackets have a big offseason ahead of them with Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, who both refused to re-sign during the season, becoming free agents. Deadline pickups Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel will also become unrestricted free agents.
"Moving forward we want guys that are proud to be Blue Jackets and proud to be living in Columbus and loving it here," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told reporters following the loss. "…. Guys that don’t want to be here, it’s, well, good luck."