With the odds now stacked heavily against them, the Boston Bruins took one giant step on Sunday night to accomplishing something they have never done in the history of their great franchise. This original six team, which enjoyed a solid season in finishing first with 116 points in the Eastern Conference, entered game five on Sunday night at home trying to get back into a series; they trailed 3-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Showing that they won’t go down without a fight, Boston, which swept all four games against Carolina in the regular season, played air-tight defense as goalie Tim Thomas enjoyed a relatively easy night in facing only 19 shots. They took a 4-0 win.
“Timmy deserved the kind of night he had tonight,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He’s been peppered with a lot of shots in the games before that. Maybe his teammates felt they owed it to him, to give him an easier night. They did a great job in front of him.”
Bruin fans, management, and players received a huge scare late in the second period when their number one defenseman, Zdeno Chara, was in considerable pain and had to be helped off by the trainer after he took a slash from Jussi Jokinen.
“My heart skipped a beat when he was down because I know he doesn’t fake things ever,” said Thomas, who has a 1.77 GAA in the postseason.
Besides Thomas, other Boston standouts included Phil Kessel, who scored twice, Milan Lucic, who had a goal and an assist along with Chara, and Marc Savard, who registered a pair of assists.
Carolina, which finished third in the Eastern Conference, refused to show any signs of panic after this game, as they know that they are still in great shape.
“We get to go back home in front of our fans and hopefully get the job done in six,” said Canes Eric Staal who was a –three on this night. “We need to regroup and forget it.”
Eric, do not forget: closing out a desperate team in a series is the toughest thing in sports!