If anyone thought that the Boston Bruins were going to roll over and play dead for the Carolina Hurricanes on home ice with their playoff lives on the line, they were sadly mistaken. The Bruins played a desperate, intense hockey game, as if their backs were against the wall. The Canes did not. The end result was a shellacking for the visitors.
But the Hurricanes still have a 3-2 lead in the series and can close things out at home on Tuesday night. It's a position that anyone in hockey would love to be in. Although this particular game is one the team would rather forget.
The Bruins started out with more jump and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Carolina was out-shot 16-7 in the period.
The next period was not much better as the Canes could only muster four shots on goal. Phil Kessel scored his second goal of the game and gave the home team a 3-0 lead. Near the end of the period, Jussi Jokinen may have accidentally slashed Zdeno Chara in the back of the leg. Chara laid on the ice for several minutes, seemingly in excruciating pain, but never missed any time as he played the very first shift in the third period. Jokinen was not even looking at Chara during the play and it does not look like a hard hit, but some Boston fans seem outraged about it.
The third period turned into a penalty-ridden fiasco. A total of 21 infractions were called, including a misconduct to Milan Lucic and a game misconduct as well as an instigator to Scott Walker. Walker could very easily be suspended for punching Aaron Ward in the face, when Ward had yet to drop his gloves. There might be an automatic suspension because he was given an instigator penalty with less than five minutes left in the game, as well as a game misconduct. Coach Paul Maurice could also be fined $10,000, which is a part of the rule. But the league has discretion in these matters and may rule otherwise.
It looked like Ward was knocking Matt Cullen around and Walker came to his rescue, but still, that was not a smart move.
Earlier in the period, Tim Conboy got into two altercations, one with Shawn Thornton, who was repeatedly crosschecking Anton Babchuk, and the next time with Mark Stuart. Matching roughing penalties were handed out for the first fight and five minute penalties were dished out for the next.
To make a long story short, it's a game the Hurricanes have seemingly already put behind them. They know what needs to be done on Tuesday night, its just a matter of doing it.
The team totally lost their discipline, which had been their trademark all season long. They will need to put retribution behind them, and realize that winning the series will be the best revenge.
It was classic Paul Maurice after the game. When asked about his team's performance he replied, "I thought that it was an evenly played game". Then he was questioned about Scott Walker, and he responded, "Scottie probably has sore knuckles." The coach was probably anticipating a question about the instigator penalty and possible fine when he said, "I might have to sell my truck."
There is not much if anything positive to review, the Canes were outplayed pretty badly. And obviously, all the penalties did not help. But the Bruins are still the one's behind the eight ball and need to beat the Hurricanes two more times.
We will be on the lookout for information about a possible Walker suspension as well as any other news and will report on it as soon as we find out anything.