RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Twice earlier than, the Carolina Hurricanes had reached the playoffs solely to see their ascent to turning into a critical Stanley Cup contender blocked by the Boston Bruins.
Two newcomers helped the Hurricanes lastly push previous their playoff bully — and in a Game 7, at that.
Midseason acquisition Max Domi scored twice within the second interval whereas Antti Raanta had 27 saves to assist the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday to win their first-round playoff collection.
Teuvo Teravainen additionally scored for the Hurricanes, who lastly put away a staff that swept them within the 2019 Eastern Conference finals then took a five-game first-round collection within the Toronto bubble a yr later.
“It’s such a different feeling coming into this one,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour stated. “I believe again within the different ones, if we might’ve received, you guys may need been a bit stunned.
“This time around, I felt like it was our time. Our guys have matured. I think they felt that, too.”
Carolina strikes on to the second spherical to face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
One factor is definite: successful the Metropolitan Division title paved the best way by securing home-ice benefit. This was a collection during which neither staff might handle a highway win, with the Hurricanes ultimately getting the ultimate phrase backed by one more rowdy residence crowd.
“Obviously we needed one on the road, and we couldn’t do that,” Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron stated.
Carolina held on after squandering a 2-0 collection lead after which a clunker efficiency in Thursday’s Game 6 loss with an opportunity to advance.
“Game 7, Game 4, 5, 6 — whatever it is, you’re advancing, which is the best thing,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin stated.
Domi was an unlikely star on this one. Carolina acquired him forward of the March commerce deadline, and he rewarded them along with his first profession postseason targets. He additionally assisted on Teravainen’s purpose with an ideal go to the highest of the crease for the first-period putaway.
“Obviously I was pretty lucky to come to a team like this,” Domi stated.
Then there’s Raanta, who joined Frederik Andersen within the staff’s overhaul of its goaltender place. But with Andersen injured late within the common season, Raanta took the lead within the crease regardless of by no means beginning a postseason recreation earlier than.
He was once more regular in web. His greatest cease got here early with a full-split save to disclaim Taylor Hall close to the left put up on a 2-on-1 likelihood within the first interval of a scoreless recreation.
David Pastrnak scored one with 21.7 seconds left with Boston having pulled Jeremy Swayman for the additional attacker. From there, the Hurricanes needed to hold on by means of one tense clock-killing shift earlier than they may rejoice.
“When they got the second one, it was probably the longest 20 seconds in my life for sure,” Raanta stated.
Jake DeBrusk scored within the second interval for the Bruins, whereas Swayman completed with 28 saves. But the Bruins discovered themselves taking part in catch-up after Domi’s first purpose, which had him skating in on the left aspect to bury a redirect try from Jordan Staal at 3:14 of the second.
Later, after DeBrusk had crushed Raanta from the highest of the crease, Teravainen whipped a go to Domi for a one-timer. The puck zipped previous Swayman at 10:33 of the second for the 3-1 lead and one other purpose coming inside a couple of ft of the crease.
“We pride ourselves on D-zone coverage, stuff we’ve done very well all year,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy stated. “Two breakdowns that, yeah, they made plays, but more on us not to get the job done defensively — be in the right spots, good sticks.”
The Hurricanes improved to 6-0 in Game 7s for the reason that former Hartford Whalers relocated to North Carolina in 1997. That contains the 2006 Stanley Cup finals towards Edmonton, in addition to a second-round additional time win at Boston in 2009 — which got here 14 years earlier to the day.
The Bruins have been of their sixth straight playoffs. But this marks the primary time Boston exited with out successful a collection since falling in a six-game collection to Ottawa in 2017.
Bergeron, the longtime No. 1 middle, can turn into an unrestricted free agent after 18 seasons with the staff. He has declined to speak a few new contract in the course of the yr, making a risk he might depart or retire.
He wasn’t prepared afterward to consider what’s subsequent.
“It’s too fresh right now,” Bergeron stated. “It nonetheless stings clearly from a hard-fought collection. Came up brief, so clearly I’m going to have to consider it. But I’m not there proper now.
The Hurricanes had their greatest residence crowd in franchise historical past with an attendance of 19,513. That surpassed the earlier mark of 19,495 in the course of the remaining win in a second-round sweep of the New York Islanders in 2019.