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game recap

Bruins on cusp of Eastern title after Game 3 win against Hurricanes

Rask makes 35 saves to move Boston one victory from Stanley Cup Final

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

Rask's huge series of saves

BOS@CAR, Gm3: Rask shuts down flurry of chances

ECF, Gm3: Tuukka Rask makes a series of stops as a Hurricanes power play winds down, including an outstanding pad save on Micheal Ferland

  • 00:24 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tuukka Rask made 35 saves for the Boston Bruins in a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at PNC Arena on Tuesday.

Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins, who can sweep the best-of-7 series here Thursday.

"[Rask] is always calm and collected," Boston center Patrice Bergeron said. "Right now, he's in the zone. He's been amazing. He's a huge reason why we're here right now."

 

[WATCH: Bruins vs. Hurricanes Game 3 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

Calvin de Haan scored, and Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves for the Hurricanes, who lost at home for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (5-1).

"We came out exactly how we wanted to, but it didn't work out," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I'm proud of the way we played that game."

After Rask made 20 saves in the first period, the Bruins capitalized on a Hurricanes turnover to take a 1-0 lead 1:21 into the second. Brock McGinn's clearing pass hit Boston forward Sean Kuraly in the skates, and Joakim Nordstrom fed Wagner for a redirection at the top of the crease.

"I didn't like the way we played [in the first period]," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We talked about how we want to counter an assertive team, an aggressive team. We were trying to attack and counter their aggressiveness. The moral of the story is we survived the first period tonight."

Video: BOS@CAR, Gm3: Wagner redirects home opening tally

Wagner's goal, his second of the series, shifted the momentum to Boston.

"Great play by [Kuraly]," Nordstrom said. "I was going to shoot it, then I saw how much room I had. [Wagner] getting open on the backdoor, I just had to get the puck there."

Marchand gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at 6:28. He cut to the slot and lifted a backhand that went in off de Haan's glove.

De Haan cut the lead to 2-1 with a slap shot from the left face-off circle that beat Rask five-hole at 13:48. The goal was de Haan's first in 27 NHL playoff games.

Video: BOS@CAR, Gm3: de Haan cranks home heavy slap shot

The Hurricanes were 0-for-5 on the power play. They had four opportunities in the first period, including 45 seconds at 5-on-3.

"Our power play wasn't, again, good enough -- 5-on-3, 4-on-3," captain Justin Williams said. "We didn't get enough on it. The difference, they scored a power-play goal, special teams today, I guess."

Rask made two saves on a flurry at the net early in the first period at the end of Brandon Carlo's delay of game penalty for playing the puck over the glass. He made a right-pad save on Micheal Ferland at 2:49 before stopping Williams on the rebound.

"Such a calming presence for us," defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. "Obviously, they came out and played real hard at the beginning, and we gave up more scoring chances than we would have liked, but [Rask] stood tall for us and allowed us to come in intermission 0-0 and reset."

Video: BOS@CAR, Gm3: Marchand banks in PPG off defender

McElhinney, who won the final three games in Carolina's sweep of the New York Islanders in the second round, started for the Hurricanes after they were outscored 11-4 in the first two games of the series with Petr Mrazek in net.

"[McElhinney] was great," Brind'Amour said. "He gave us a chance tonight, and that is all you can ask. [Rask] was pretty special down at the other end. It was a good battle there."

 

They said it

"I've felt good for many, many months. It's about timing, patience and all that. I think experience helps that. You try to stay mentally focused and sharp night in and night out, and not get rattled about anything. Being in the zone, nobody knows what that means. But the way I usually want to play, I want to play calm and make myself look big and try to make tough chances look easy. If that's in the zone, then so be it, but I just try to be focused and give us a chance." -- Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask

Video: Clutch Performance: Rask stops 35 shots in Game 3 win

"It was more of how we wanted to play. Absolutely. It just didn't happen for us, and that stinks. That's the way it goes sometimes, but we're not going to go away quietly." -- Hurricanes captain Justin Williams

 

Need to know

The Bruins are 22-1 in the playoffs when Marchand scores a goal. … David Krejci had an assist on Marchand's goal for his 100th NHL playoff point (36 goals, 64 assists), tying Rick Middleton and Johnny Bucyk for third in Boston history. … Rask is 11-5 in the playoffs with a 1.96 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. ... The Hurricanes are 5-for-50 on the power play in the playoffs. … Carolina had a 33-9 advantage in shot attempts in the first period. … McElhinney is 3-1 with a 1.70 GAA and .943 save percentage in the playoffs.

 

What's next

Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final at PNC Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Video: Bruins hang on for win, grab 3-0 series lead

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