The Carolina Hurricanes may have gotten a better defensive effort and goaltending, but it still wasn’t enough to upend the Bruins in a close one. The Bruins went ahead by a score of 2-0 and were able to hold off the Hurricanes, who were coming on strong in the 3rd period. You can’t fault with how the Hurricanes played in the 3rd, they put the pressure on the Bruins and played like the better team.
It almost felt like it was inevitable that Carolina were going to score late and force overtime. Tuukka Rask had other plans, though, as he was dynamite other than the lone goal he allowed to get underneath him. That was the only mistake by Rask, as he was locked in otherwise.
There were some shots that he made some fantastic saves on and never looked flustered. The Hurricanes ultimately went with Curtis McElhinney in net after some debate. Petr Mrazek was the starting goaltender up to that point, but he was struggling and the decision as made to go with McElhinney. He only allowed two goals so what bad can you say of that. The loss wasn’t because of McElhinney playing poorly, the Hurricanes just ran into a red-hot goaltender.
All the Bruins need is a win to go back to the Stanley Cup Final. It will be their third appearance in the last eight years and 20th in franchise story. Looking at the Blues and Sharks on the other side in the Western Conference, the Bruins have to be the favourite at the moment. From an all-around perspective, they are the most complete team. They also have the best goaltender left in the playoffs, so it’s easy to select the Bruins here. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Hurricanes Game 4 pick.
Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game 4 Pick
It’s do or die time for the Hurricanes. They have what appears to be an impossible challenge in front of themselves, as they must win four games in a row to reach the Stanley Cup Final. The LA Kings are the last team to do that, as they erased a 3-0 deficit against the Sharks in the first-round of the 2014 playoffs.
The Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup that season. However, this isn’t the first-round and there are only four teams, dating back to 1942, that have erased a 3-0 hole. The Flyers against the Bruins in 2010 was the other series this decade. Rask is familiar with that series having been their starting goalie back then as well. It’s hard to feel confident about the Hurricanes overtaking the Bruins here, though. They’ve already enjoyed a magical run and are playing with house money, so whatever happens, they’re already winners.
The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins 36-31 in Game 3. It was a closely contested game that could have gone either way. However, goaltending is part of hockey, especially this time of the season, and Rask had 35 answers for the Hurricanes between the pipes. McElhinney is being put on a difficult position as he’s forced to shake off the rust in the most important games of the year for Carolina.
His career numbers against the Hurricanes have improved to a 2.27 GAA 0.928 save percentage. Rask hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals since Game 5 on May 4th against the Blue Jackets. I don’t know if the Hurricanes are going to have any gas left in the tank come the 3rd period in this one. They expelled a lot of energy trying to tie things up in Game 3. It should be another tight game, but expect the Bruins to get the win and sweep the ‘Canes en route to the Stanley Cup Final.