The Boston Bruins have put the Second Round within touching distance with a four-goal third period to oust the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in Game 4.
In the early going, a Boston Bruins victory seemed an unlikely result with Jaroslav Halak conceding on one of the Cane’s early shots on his net.
Without an experienced fall-back option, the Bruins had to survive the early going, including a second goal. From there on out, it became as much about the defense protecting Halak as anything as the alternative was to give Dan Vladar his first taste of Stanley Cup Playoffs action.
It was two unlikely players in Connor Clifton and Jake DeBrusk that lifted the Bruins to victory with DeBrusk risking his body to score the Bruins’ first as James Reimer came sprawling out of the Canes net.
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Clifton had the secondary assist on that one with a deft pass under pressure in the defensive zone. he then added a beauty of a one-timer from the hash-marks to take a game that looked destined to end in a loss to a tie.
Despite no fans in attendance, this felt like vintage play-off hockey. Charlie McAvoy delivered an excellently timed hip-check on Jordan Staal in the third and from that point on, it truly felt like the momentum had swung.
Even without the presence of David Pastrnak on the top line, the Boston Bruins powered on past the Canes.
Perhaps most satisfying was the fact that none of the Bruins’ goals were scored on the penalty kill or power play. Something that Bruce Cassidy or the team’s leaders said during the second intermission must’ve lit the touchpaper, because they came back out on fire.
The Bruins juggled lines at times during the game, but ultimately it was the second line trio that won this one for them; Jake DeBrusk grabbed what turned out to be the game winning goal at 14:17 in the third, after a 7-minute charge led to 4 goals for the Boston Bruins.
That goal was a perfect three-man passing combination of his line mates Ondrej Kase and David Krejci in the build-up. Safe to say that even without our ideal top line, we have options. This line certainly appears to be finding it’s chemistry.
Boston Bruins fans can go to bed happy tonight. The team turned around a 2-0 defecit in the space of 7 third period minutes and then ensured they held on to put us one game away from the second round.