Eastern Conference Finals Game 3: Boston
We saw something at the start of this game that we haven’t seen yet in this series, and that was the Carolina Hurricanes coming out of the get with a fire lit underneath them. They controlled the game early on and often especially in the first five minutes. They would have multiple power play opportunities but Tuukka Rask remained solid and the Bruins best penalty killer. At one point late in the Hurricanes first power play, they were able to throw four consecutive shots on goal but Tuukka made incredible save after incredible save.
As the period moved on, the tides somewhat turned as Boston would get a few power plays of their own after a horrible period by Justin Williams for the Canes who would take three separate minor penalties. After taking a bad penalty in Game 2, he came out and said I am better than that and I won’t take stupid penalties anymore…but yet he did. Unfortunately the Bruins wouldn’t capitalize on these opportunities, and we moved onto the second period scoreless, with about 30 seconds of Bruins power play time remaining.
Moments after the Bruins power play ended to start the period, Carolina had trouble clearing the puck in their defensive zone. Eventually the Canes would turn over the puck to Sean Kuraly who fed Joakim Nordstrom who found an open Chris Wagner in front of the net for the easy tip in and the 1-0 lead.
Roughly five minutes after Wagner gave the Bruins the lead, they would once again go on the power play where they have devastated Carolina. This man advantage was no different as the B’s would double their lead with a Brad Marchand goal.
With the third period rapidly moving with fast paced action, the Hurricanes would finally solve Tuukka Rask and get on the board. Calvin de Haan would fire a slapshot from the top of the left circle and it appeared to be an easy save for Rask, but the puck slipped through his five hole into the back of the net. It was Tuukka’s one mistake in this series and it happens from time to time but it’s nothing to be mad at, he’s been playing outstanding.
In the third period, the Hurricanes continued to attack hard as they tried to tie the game, but Tuukka didn’t let the earlier goal faze him as he was a wall throughout the period. As we got down to about halfway through, it appeared that the Bruins would increase their lead with another power play goal, but it was ruled goalie interference and no goal after a review. With there being no standard as to how that rule is called, it was anyone’s guess whether it should have been a good goal or not, so we can’t really do anything about it. When we got inside of three minutes to play, Carolina would pull their goalie for the extra attacker, and Tuukka remained a wall. He saved many opportunities in the closing moments, but he saw the puck so well, and his rebound control was impeccable. The bruins would hold on to win this game 2-1 and take a 3-0 series lead. They will have their first chance to clinch the series and move on to the Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday night at 8pm in Carolina.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com