Bruins Fall Short in Game Four: Carolina Edges Boston 4-1
Jussi Jokinen strikes agai—notching the game-winner for the second straight game for the Carolina Hurricanes—as the 'Canes take a 3-1 lead in this best of seven series with a 4-1 triumph over the Boston Bruins.
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas made 27 saves on 31 shots that he faced tonight, as the Bruins now have their backs against the wall headed into Game Five.
"I think our team has probably picked the worst time of the year to play their worst hockey, and that's what's happening" from Bruins coach Claude Julien after the game.
Julien went on to say after the game, "When you look at the whole team right now, there isn't been anybody who has played up to their potential"
Eric Staal lit the lamp first with a power play goal, his eighth of the playoffs--also setting a club franchise record.
The Bruins were completely out-played in the first; having gone out-shot 4-12 in this pivotal Game Four.
Marc Savard snapped a 0-17 power play skid for the Bruins, scoring the lone goal in the second period for his fifth of the playoffs. The rest of the second was definitely in the Bruins favor, out-shooting the 'Canes 10-6.
The B's showed glimpses of the old Big Bad Bruins when Milan Lucic almost danced with Carolina's Dennis Sidenberg. Lucic, along with Marc Savard, were both sent to the box for two-minutes for roughing.
The momentum was shifted the Bruins' way, but the 'Canes capitalized in the third. Jussi Jokinen has been no-joke this series, scoring his sixth playoff goal on the power play—a terrible call on Zdeno Chara for hooking.
The officiating tonight was dismal, but that's no excuse. For the third-straight game, Carolina just wanted it more. The Bruins out-hit the 'Canes 37-35, but Carolina was more aggressive with the puck, out-shooting the Bruins for the third game this series, 32-21. The 'Canes have now out-shot the Bruins 125-104 in the past four games.
After sweeping the Montreal Canadiens in four—what seemed to be—easy games, the Bruins momentum carried over to Game One; as everyone anticipated another easy pass past Carolina. After tonight, everyone is singing a different tune.
The Bruins vs. Canadiens rivalry and history is one that the Bruins fans would like to forget about—until this year. The Bruins sweep over the mighty Habs this year seemed to be "good enough" for the Bruins and its diehard hockey-head-fans in Boston. Had the Bruins limped-into the playoffs with the eight-seed like they did last year, I could understand.
But, the B's were just one-point behind the San Jose Sharks for the Presidents Cup as the best team (most points) in the NHL this season.
They didn't just-so-happen run into a good team in the Carolina Hurricanes, and a hot goalie in Cam Ward, they just-so-happened to beat an unsuccessful Montreal team, and just-so-happen to face a hot, 2006 Stanley Cup team, and Conn Smythe winning goaltender.
The difference between the Bruins team in Round One and the Bruins team in Round two; is that the Round One Bruins' team played full 60-minutes every game; where as this round—aside from Game One—this Boston team has not.
Although history may say that the Bruins over Canadiens in the playoffs meant success, a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes—a team whom the Bruins went 4-0-0 in the regular season—would be insurmountably worse.
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