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The Bruins’ second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in three seasons became a fait accompli at 12:13 a.m. Thursday, thanks to a Patrice Bergeron strike at 15:19 of double overtime that turned Pittsburgh’s best performance of the Eastern Conference finals into its worst nightmare.
Amid the elation on Causeway Street, where 17,565 crazies hooted, hollered, and shooed away the ghost of Petr Klima, the Penguins were left with the harsh, if not impossible, reality of a 3-0 series deficit. They have a chance to extend the series Friday night, but the best-of-seven set is essentially over, thanks to Bergeron’s closing goal and a stellar 53-save, 95:19 performance by Tuukka Rask.