Carter Pushes Bruins Through Hurricanes
By David Droschak
Not the Boston-Carolina series, where most everything up until Friday night's 4-3 double-overtime victory by the Bruins had been earned the hard way.
"We figured it would be ugly. who would have thought it would have been a breakaway goal?'' said Anson Carter, who broke free for a backhander with 5:15 left in the second overtime as the Bruins took a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference series with the Hurricanes.
The Bruins came into the second OT holding a 47-31 lead in shots on goal, and Carter's goal on Carolina's Arturs Irbe was Boston's 52nd shot.
Joe Thornton and Ray Bourque assisted on Carter's game-winner in the longest game in Carolina franchise history.
"It was a great pass from Joe and I usually bury those,'' said Carter. "That wasn't my best move, but it was my move of choice.''
Boston has a chance to improve to 21-5 all-time in 26 Stanley Cup series after winning the fifth game with a victory Sunday in Game 6 at the FleetCenter.
"I think we have played so much hockey the guys are just numb,'' said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. "(Saturday) they'll hurt and the next day they'll be angry.''
If necessary, Game 7 would be played in Greensboro on Tuesday.
"We don't have time to worry about maybe having let a game slip away,'' said Carolina captain Keith Primeau. "Somebody has to win in overtime. We have to jump on a plane and come home after Game 6 anyway so we might as well come home to play Game 7.''
Boston had seized the momentum in the best-of-7 series with three goals in a span of 1:52 early in the third period, erasing a 2-0 deficit and quieting the boisterous pom-pom waving sellout crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum.
But Sami Kapanen, back in the lineup after missing Game 4 in Boston with a bruised knee, sent the game into overtime with 1:45 left in regulation, taking a centering pass from Gary Roberts and smashing it past Byron Dafoe.
Ron Francis, also back after missing three games with a sprained ankle, added an assist on the game-tying goal as regulation ended with the teams tangled in a glove-shoving, pushing match that has been typical of the hard-hitting series.
Carolina had several good chances to score on Dafoe in the second overtime but couldn't convert.
"Shame on us, we had chances,'' said Maurice. "When you miss one or two like that you get a sick feeling in your stomach.''
Ray Sheppard scored in his franchise-record fourth straight postseason game late in the second period as Carolina took a 2-0 lead its first two-goal lead of the series.
But the Bruins, who had outscored Carolina a combined 6-2 in the third periods of the previous four games, came out aggressively to start the final 20 minutes and the complexion of the game quickly changed.
Bourque, quiet offensively most of the series, scored 34 seconds into the period to begin the scoring barrage, netting his 36th career playoff goal.
Fellow defenseman Darren Van Impe followed with a power-play goal a minute later as Roberts was off for boarding and the noisy crowd grew anxious and quiet.
Less than a half-minute later, P.J. Axelsson converted his first playoff goal of the series off a turnover by Marek Malik and the momentum was Boston's until Kapanen's first goal of the series tied the score at 3-3.
"Three minutes killed us in the third period,'' said Primeau.
Sheppard's goal from an almost impossible angle to the left of Dafoe with 4:41 left in the second period was Sheppard's fifth of the series tying Detroit's Steve Yzerman for the NHL postseason lead and ninth in 10 career postseason games against the Bruins.
Carolina scored the first goal for the third straight game in the series.
Bourque failed to clear the puck on a Carolina power play 3:49 into the game and Steve Chiasson made him pay, blasting a high slap slot past a screened Dafoe for a 1-0 lead.
It was the first goal for Chiasson, who missed 46 games because of a shoulder operation, since the season opener Oct. 10 against Tampa Bay.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press