Boston Evens Series With 4-1 Victory
By Howard Ulman
Boston evened its series with the Carolina Hurricanes at 2-2 with a 4-1 win Wednesday night.
It was only the Bruins' second win in their last 13 home playoff games and first in their last five. And they needed a couple of unlikely scorers to achieve that.
Sweeney tied the game with 1:42 left in the second period with his seventh goal in 85 career playoff games. The defenseman had just two goals in 81 games during the regular season.
Then Wilson put the Bruins ahead on a power play at 3:54 of the third period with his first goal in five career playoff games. In 22 regular season games, he scored just three times.
Steve Heinze added another goal with 8:44 left in the game, and Rob DiMaio scored into an empty net with 37 seconds left to cap Boston's comeback from a 1-0 deficit. Ray Sheppard had scored his fourth goal of the series just 4:21 into the game on a rising shot from the top of the right circle.
The victory guaranteed Boston would return home Sunday night for a sixth game of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series after Friday night's Game 5 at Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost all five series in which they were tied at two games apiece.
But their chances seemed good Wednesday night following consecutive 3-2 wins after the Bruins had won the opener 2-0. Carolina is just 7-21 in road playoff games but three of those wins came at Boston.
And the Hurricanes struck early on Sheppard's goal in a hard-hitting first period in which there were several shoving matches.
The smaller Bruins, though, also played physically and tied the game with Kent Manderville of Carolina and Darren Van Impe of Boston in the penalty box for roughing.
Sweeney scored with a high shot to the far side of goaltender Arturs Irbe that came from the inside edge of the left circle. It was set up by Jason Allison, the only player with points in all four games. He passed the puck across the slot from low in the right circle.
Then Wilson scored the winning goal with nine seconds left in a holding penalty to Carolina's Bates Battaglia. Ray Bourque shot the puck off the boards behind Irbe and Joe Thornton, standing to the right of the goalie, pushed the rebound across the crease where Wilson jammed it in.
Heinze added his second goal of the series from about five feet in front of Irbe after taking Anson Carter's pass from behind the net.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press