BOSTON - The standings didn’t reflect it, but anybody paying attention knew the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins were the best two teams in the Eastern Conference this season.
Now we get to see them duke it out for the conference title.
The Bruins are back in the Eastern final for the second time in three years after dispatching the New York Rangers with a 3-1 victory Saturday at TD Garden to win the conference semifinal 4-1.
Boston wound up being the No. 4 seed in the East after some inconsistency in the regular season cost them the chance to win the Northeast Division from the Montreal Canadiens.
The last time the Bruins made it this far was in 2011 when they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games and before beating the Vancouver Canucks in the Cup final.
The Bruins spotted the Rangers a goal Saturday and then got second period scores from two sources that made a difference this series: rookie defenceman Torey Krug and Boston’s fourth line.