One win separates the Boston Bruins from the Stanley Cup Final.
The B’s took a convincing 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday night, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 at PNC Arena.
After a scoreless first period in which the Hurricanes fired a whopping 20 shots on net, the Bruins potted a pair of goals in the second period, and that proved to be all the scoring they needed.
Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand had the Bruins’ goals, while Calvin de Haan scored Carolina’s lone tally.
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves for the Bruins, while Curtis McElhinney turned away 29 shots for Carolina.
Here’s how it all went down:
TUUKKA GETS PEPPERED
There was no score after 20 minutes, and it was thanks largely to Rask.
The Bruins netminder turned away 20 (!) shots in the opening period, while his teammates managed to get just six shots on net.
A total of 10 penalties were called in the first, three of which were on Carolina captain Justin Williams. Each team had a handful of quality opportunities in what was a pretty busy frame, but a finishing touch eluded both sides.
BRUINS GET GOING
After a scoreless first period in which the Hurricanes controlled the tempo, the Bruins came out firing in the second — and it resulted in them scoring the game’s first two goals.
Just over a minute into the period, Sean Kuraly fed a pass to Joakim Nordstrom in the circle. Nordstrom skated toward net, then fired a nice pass to the far post. The puck found Wagner, who redirected it past McElhinney at 1:21 to make it 1-0 Bruins.
A few minutes later, Nino Niederreiter was whistled for high-sticking David Krejci, and the Bruins cashed in on the man advantage.
After gaining the zone, Charlie McAvoy left the puck for Krejci at the point. Krejci sent it across to Marchand, who skated deeper before making a nice move to cut to his backhand and into the slot. The winger got a shot off that struck de Haan and went into the net, upping Boston’s lead to 2-0 at 6:28.
The Hurricanes cut the deficit in half before the period was over.
de Haan made up for the deflection on Marchand’s goal by potting Carolina’s first tally. Sebastian Aho won a draw, getting the puck up to Justin Faulk at the point. Faulk zipped a pass over to de Haan at the top of the circle, and the defenseman teed one up. It was a fine shot, indeed, but still one that Rask should have had, however he sprung a leak and allowed the puck to hit off him and go into the net at 13:48.
The Bruins ultimately won the second-period shots battle 18-6.
The third period ended scoreless, which was exactly what the Bruins needed.
Jake DeBrusk nearly scored early in the frame, redirecting a shot from the point from Torey Krug. However, DeBrusk had collided with McElhinney and the call on the ice was no goal. The Bruins challenged the call, and it was confirmed that DeBrusk had interfered.
The Hurricanes emptied their net with two minutes left, but neither side could find a goal.
The B’s and Hurricanes will meet again in Raleigh for Game 4 on Thursday. Puck drop from PNC Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images