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Carolina Powerplay Reaches New Depths: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 2

The Boston Bruins scored an NHL record, three shorthanded goals on the same Carolina powerplay as they defeated the Hurricanes at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-2.  

The Bruins came out on fire in the opening period and controlled much of the play at the beginning.  But the Canes held on and Cam Ward was solid as he made 18 saves on 18 shots to start things off.  Later in the period, the Hurricanes were able to generate some offense of their own and put 14 shots on goal.    

At the start of the second period and with the visitors on the powerplay, the Bruins took a big lead in the game as they knocked in three straight goals within a minute and four seconds.  The three shorthanded goals scored during the same powerplay set a new NHL record. 

But just like they have done all season long, the Canes battled back and never gave up.

Erik Cole scored his 11th of the season on a wrap around chance and Patrick Dwyer wristed in a beautiful shot late in the period to bring the team within a goal.

The third period was a bit more tightly contested as neither team could light the lamp until the end.  The Canes pulled Ward with less than two minutes to go to give themselves an advantage, but the result was much like their previous powerplay.  Milan Lucic skated a loose puck into the Carolina zone and buried the empty netter to put away the game.

It probably seemed like a fitting an end for some fans as the Canes surrendered an inordinate number of empty net goals during their losing streak earlier in the season.  

Boston clinched a playoff spot with the win.  They will have to wait to see where they are seeded.

The Hurricanes will clean out their lockers and have their exit interviews on Monday.  

Game Notes:

  • The line of Samson, Dwyer, and Bowman looked very good.  They were buzzing in the Carolina zone and created several scoring chances.  Dwyer and Samson each had a team high five shots on goal.  Bowman had four.
  • Casey Borer led the team with three blocked shots.  He also chipped in with three hits.
  • The Hurricanes were credited with 19 hits and were led by Jay Harrison who had four.
  • Cam Ward probably wishes he had a couple of those shorthanded goals back, but he had a very strong opening period and ended up stopping 38 of 41 shots for the game.

While the season is officially over for the Hurricanes, we will be as active as ever here on the blog.  The River Rats are in the playoffs and we will certainly be keeping track of them.  Cory, HM, and I will be making our end of season award choices this coming week, and we will also be writing up our annual exit reviews where readers get to grade how you think the players performed this year.

Of course, there will be plenty of offseason news to cover, mock drafts, prospect analysis, and unlimited discussion about next year's team.  We will also have a few surprise interviews fans will surely enjoy.

And we will be watching and discussing the NHL playoffs.  If people would like to continue the "open game threads" for certain events, we will keep doing that as well.  

Canes Country will start off with an "open thread" during the draft lottery on Tuesday night.  See you then!