Bruins one game from Stanley Cup Finals
The Boston Bruins moved to within one win of the Stanley Cup Finals on Tuesday night as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bruins were the favourites with sports betting companies going into the series, and they have so far justified that rating, winning Games One and Two in Boston and now extending their lead to 3-0 against a tough Carolina side that was desperate to get back into the series.
Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored the goals, but Tuukka Rask was the hero for Boston, finishing the game with 35 saves. Speaking to the media after the win, center Patrice Bergeron paid tribute to his goaltending teammate.
“He is always calm and collected. Right now, he's in the zone. He's been amazing. He's a huge reason why we're here right now," he said.
For Carolina, there was a goal for Calvin de Haan, while Curtis McElhinney came up with 29 saves. However, the Hurricanes suffered a third consecutive defeat against the Bruins and their first home loss in the current playoffs. It leaves them facing a tough task to get back into the series, starting with Game Four at PNC Arena on Thursday, while Boston will be going for a clean sweep.
The Hurricanes posed a significant threat throughout the first period, but they were unable to get past Rask, who came up with 20 saves. Early in the second period, Boston capitalised on an error to take the lead. Brock McGinn hit his clearing pass straight at Boston forward Sean Kuraly, which enabled Joakim Nordström to set up Wagner at the top of the crease. His goal gave Boston a 1-0 advantage, and at 6:28 in the second period, it doubled the lead. Marchand cut to the slot and fired in a backhand that deflected from de Haan’s glove and went into the net.
Carolina fought back with a goal from de Haan, scoring from the left face-off circle, but it was unable to build on that, and Boston stood firm in the final period. For Carolina, who swept the New York Islanders 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Second Round, everything comes down to Thursday’s game, which is a must-win to extend their season.
Words: Josh Dixon