Carolina takes commanding 3-1 series lead over B's

The Bruins will have to play for their playoff lives on Sunday night when the series returns to Boston for Game 5. The Carolina Hurricanes were able to outplay the B's again tonight, beating the Bruins 4-1 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC. Carolina now has a commanding 3-1 lead over the Bruins in the best-of-7 series.

The Carolina got on the board first 4:54 into to the game when Eric Staal found the back of the net on the power play after David Krejci got the gate for roughing.

Marc Savard tied it up for the Bruins 2:37 into the second period by recording the Bruins' first power play goal of the series. Tuomo Ruutu was sent off for holding at 2:09, setting up the Bruins power play. Savard gathered the puck after Mark Recchi's backhand attempt skidded wide and beat Cam Ward with a tough angle shot.

The Carolina Hurricanes pulled ahead 2-1 2:52 into the third period on the power play. Rod Brind'Amour picked up the rebound from Anton Babchuk's shot with Tim Thomas sprawling on the ice and slid the puck to Jussi Jokinen in front for the gift-wrapped goal.

Sergei Samsonov added an insurance goal for the Hurricanes with 5:29 left in the third period when he weaved his way through the Bruins' defense and beat Thomas with a backhander.

The Hurricanes struck again just 1:10 later to make it 4-1 when Eric Staal came off the bench and picked up the puck along the right wing boards, skated towards the net in an L-pattern and fired a wrister past Thomas for his second goal of the game.



Notes:

- Entering tonight's game, the Bruins were 0 for their last 17 on the power play and 0 for 9 in the series.

- Mark Stuart needs to stop giving up on the play and looking guilty every time he hits someone.

- The Hurricanes outshot the B's 31-21. 21 shots on goals isn't going to cut it against a goalie like Cam Ward who is standing on his head right now.

- The Bruins have never won a playoff series when down 3-1. A few years ago, I would have said that the Bruins are done...but remember what happened to the B's in 2004?

- The Bruins' Achilles' heel all season has been dealing with aggressive forechecking pressure and moving the puck out of their own zone. Carolina has been able to apply that pressure and force them to cough up the puck.

- Jussi Jokinen's dive put Thornton Melon's Triple Lindy to shame.

- The Bruins showed a lot more emotion tonight, but it might be too little too late.

- They say that speed kills. If you look at the players that have been on the score sheet for the Hurricanes, that seems to be the case.

- Does Sergei Samsonov know this isn't a contract year?

- The Garden better be amped on Sunday. This isn't a wake you are going to. This is a resurrection.

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