Monday, May 04, 2009

Bruins "Caned by Carolina

Bruins and Canes warming before game 2 (CMSB/Pierre's of Exchange St Photo)

It wasn't that the Boston Bruins didn't get any breaks in Game Two, it's that they didn't take advantage of any of them. The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 3-0 on Sunday night at the Garden, tying their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series at one game apiece.

The first lucky break came in the first period, when 'Canes goalie Cam Ward fell down behind the net, but there were no Bruins players in a good position to put one home, and the Hurricanes cleared the puck out of the zone and dodged bullet number one on the night. The Bruins spent most of the first period being one pass away from making the perfect set-up, but they seemed to be off by a fraction of a second each time. It limited the quality scoring chances that usually come in bunches for the Black and Gold, and they were out shot by Carolina 13-8 in the scoreless first period.

“They were a little better than we were in the first period,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. ”In the second period, they were a lot better than we were. They just played like they wanted it more tonight.”

The second period looked to be more of the same for both teams, but Carolina broke the scoreless tie in the blink of an eye, when Joe Corvo beat Tim Thomas at 2:30 of the second period to give the Canes a 1-0 lead that turned out to be all they needed. It not only took a little starch out of the jacked up sell-out crowd of 17,565, but it also gave Carolina a shot of confidence they were desperately going to need to stay in the series.

“That was a big confidence boost for this team,” said Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, who finished with 36 saves.“It's good to know we can beat this guys.”

The back-breaker came when Boston finally got their chance on the power play. Unable to mount a solid attack on Cam Ward, the Bruins turned the puck over to Carolina's Chad LaRose, who set up Matt Cullen with a shot at the Bruins net, and he took advantage. The short-handed goal goal gave the Canes a 2-0 lead and had the Boston crowd muttering to themselves, most of which cannot be repeated here.

“I just made a good run at it and Matt put it in,” said LaRose. “We came into tonight with a clean slate, now we have to clean it off again for Game 3.”

The Bruins got another chance on the power play late in the second, but were unable to get anything by the impenetrable Ward. Carolina nearly scored to end the second period, but the league office in Toronto reviewed the replay and the goal was disallowed, which many Bruins fans thought would be a momentum changer. That looked to be the case early in the third period, but Ward kept turning everything away that the Bruins threw at him. Phil Kessel had a point blank opportunity early in the third, and the crowd was ready to cheer for a goal, but Ward made a beautiful save, turning the potential cheers in to groans. He also made a great save on Mark Savard that his his pad, surprising both Ward and Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice.

“It just hit my pad,”said Ward. “You have to get lucky sometimes.”

“When I saw that shot by Savard,” said Maurice. “I was expecting a much different sound than what I heard.”

Carolina added a late empty net goal to finish the scoring, and the Bruins left the ice to some boos from the home crowd. Julien was not worried about how his team would bounce back from the loss

“This is playoff hockey,” said Julien. “If anything maybe this will get us going a little back and we can bounce back in the next game.”

Notes:Live audio from last night's post game will be added shortly

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