Tim Thomas did his part tonight, stopping 38 of 41 shots on goal in the losing effort—his second straight—as the Bruins went down 2-1 in this playoff series.
Boston lit the lamp first at 8:43 into the first period, as Milan Lucic notched his first playoff goal this year from Dennis Wideman and Marc Savard. Lucic led all Bruins' with five shots on goal.
The Bruins were winning the physical part of the game in the first period, out-hitting the 'Canes 17-10 after the first 20-minutes—yet were out-shot 12-8.
"In order to win the series we have to be a lot better" said a disgruntled Coach Claude Julien after the game. "I haven't seen our team make so many mistakes as we did tonight...bottom line they were definitely the better team tonight"
Similar to Game Two in Boston, the second period tonight seemed to be the kryptonite yet again for the Black and Gold. Andrew Ference was called for boarding at 16:28 in the second, and the 'Canes took full-advantage.
Eric Staal scored an unassisted snap-shot on the power play—stealing the puck from Steve Montador in the corner. Montador was in the middle of a wind-up slapper, in an attempt to clear the puck. A costly mistake.
"They're playing like a hungrier team right now," said Boston netminder Tim Thomas.
Former Boston Bruin Sergei Samsonov struck next for Carolina, just 1:09 later from Scott Walker and Jussi Jokinen. Phil Kessel lost an edge near the red-line, coughing up the puck that resulted in the 'Canes taking the lead, 2-1.
Mark Recchi scored his first goal of the playoffs to tie it up at 2-2. Steve Montador made a nice pinch at the blue line to keep the puck in, a flip-pass off to Kobasew, and the tip-in to send this game to OT.
Claude Julien went on to say after the game, "Our heads weren't in it...a lot of puck turnovers and a lot of things that are very uncharacteristic of our team."
Andrew Ference left the game and did not return, with what appears to be an undisclosed injury.
The Bruins made some sloppy plays in their own zone, and were unable to clear the puck. Tim Thomas also said, "Where we normally make a smart play and just get it out of the zone we tried to do too much, in certain ways...we weren't doing enough."
The Bruins have now gone 0-9 on the power play this series, versus the 'Canes since going 4-16 against the Montreal Canadiens in round one.
Carolina just wanted it more tonight, plain and simple. The Bruins have yet to play full a 60 minutes since the Game One, and it's in the second period where Boston seems to fall flat. Although Boston got the 44-38 edge in hits tonight, the Hurricanes registered almost twice the shots, and now have the advantage in this series.
Their backs are officially against the wall now—down 2-1 this series with Game Four on Friday back in Carolina. As the playoffs get deeper, the 'Canes seem to get better. Hopefully, Boston can make the necessary adjustments to get this thing back to even, before heading back home for Game Five on Sunday.
This was originally published from the Boston Bruins Examiner at Examiner.com
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