The Boston Bruins are going to the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2013.
The B's eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 6 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series with a 3-0 victory, setting up a matchup in the next round with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The NHL has announced Game 1 will be Thursday at 8 p.m. in Boston, but has not released the full schedule for the Eastern Conference finals. We'll have the schedule right here as soon as it's released.
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A Bruins-Hurricanes conference final was not among the most predicted matchups, but both teams have fought through some tough series to reach this point. Boston defeated a very good Toronto Maple Leafs team in seven games in the first round before dispatching the scrappy Blue Jackets in six games. Carolina eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals by winning a Game 7 on the road, and then it blew past the New York Islanders in a four-game sweep.
The B's will be aiming for their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 2013, while the 'Canes are hoping to return to the Cup Final for the first time since 2006 (when Carolina won its first championship). These teams last met in the playoffs during the second round in 2009, when the Hurricanes won Game 7 in Boston thanks to a Scott Walker goal.
The Bruins have home ice advantage for this series, and we should expect a spirited reaction from Boston fans when former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton takes the ice at TD Garden for the first time as an opponent in the playoffs.
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