06/08/2013 02:38 EDT | Updated 08/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Stanley Cup Stories: Bruins fast track to Cup final

Taking the express lane to the Stanley Cup final, the Boston Bruins pulled off an improbable sweep of the No. 1-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the top NHL playoff stories from Friday:

1. The Boston Bruins had the Pittsburgh Penguins right where they wanted them. At home with a commanding series lead, the Bruins swept the East's top seed with a 1-0 win. Boston defenceman Adam McQuaid had the lone, winning goal early in the third period and Tuukka Rask was perfect with 26 saves (though Zdeno Chara did lend his goaltender a hand). Next stop for the B's: the Stanley Cup final. With the Blackhawks one game away from eliminating the Kings, who would the Bruins prefer to face to increase their chances at a second Cup in three years? Vote here.

2.Fans pointed out that Game 4 wasn't the strongest showing by the Pens, while NHLers gave props and some bittersweet, congratulatory words to the Bruins. Sweeping the high-flying Penguins was an unlikely outcome, but's Tim Wharnsby writes about how the Bruins have managed to muster that kind of magic.

3. After spoiling the Kings' 15-game winning streak at the Staples Center, the red-hot Bryan Bickell is glad to be back home. The winger and his Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to end Los Angeles's run at a repeat championship Saturday at the United Center (CBC,, 8 p.m. ET). And while the Blackhawks want to keep playing with urgency, hopefully Andrew Shaw won't be stuck in another jam.