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Bruins vs. Hurricanes Series Storylines @NHLdotcom
Series Storylines

Playoff History: The Bruins and Hurricanes have met once before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The sixth-seeded Bruins ousted the third-seeded Hurricanes, coached by Paul Maurice, in six games in the 1999 Eastern Conference Quarter-Final. The franchises also contested playoff series in consecutive years prior to the Hurricanes' relocation from Hartford; the Bruins won 1990 and 1991 first-round series in seven and six games, respectively.

b The Bruins won all four meetings against Carolina during the regular season, outscoring the Hurricanes 18-6. Forward David Krejci paced Boston with seven points (3-4--7) and a +7 rating. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas went 3-0 and allowed just four goals, while Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward recorded four losses and a 3.90 goals-against average.

Unfamiliar Foe?: The two teams haven’t played since a 5-1 Boston win on Feb. 17. The Hurricanes went 17-6-2 thereafter, surging to the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

First-Round Recap: The Bruins' four-game sweep over the Montreal Canadiens was the club's first playoff series win since defeating the Hurricanes in the 1999 Conference Quarter-Finals and the second four-game sweep over Montreal in their 29 lifetime best-of-seven series. Forward Michael Ryder, an off-season free agent signing from Montreal, haunted his former teammates with a team-leading seven points (4-3--7) and a +5 rating. Goaltender Tim Thomas, who led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage during the regular season, ranked third and fourth in those categories, respectively, in the first round (1.50, .946).

The Hurricanes eliminated the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Quarter-Finals, scoring twice in the final 1:20 of Game 7 to make one of the most stunning turnarounds in playoff history. Hurricanes center Eric Staal scored the series-winning goal with just 32 ticks of the clock remaining and led the club in scoring with 5-2--7, but LW Jussi Jokinen also will be remembered for his heroics. Jokinen scored the go-ahead goal with 0.2 seconds remaining in Game 4 -- the latest game-winner in regulation time ever -- and tallied the game-tying goal with 1:20 to play in Game 7.

Familiar Acquisition: RW Mark Recchi, a trade-deadline acquisition by Boston in 2009, was also picked up at the trade deadline by Carolina in 2006 prior to its Stanley Cup win. Recchi posted 16 points (7-9--16), including two game-winning goals, in 25 games during the Hurricanes' run to the championship.

The Other Ward: Boston D Aaron Ward was an integral part of the Hurricanes from the 2001-02 season through the franchise's first Stanley Cup win in 2006. He arrived in Carolina in a trade from Detroit and was coached by Paul Maurice in his first season.

Different Roads to the Top: Carolina’s G Cam Ward led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in his rookie season of 2005-06, becoming the first goalie to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Patrick Roy (1986). Boston’s G Tim Thomas didn’t become an NHL regular until 2005-06 at age 30. Similar to Ward, Thomas is making his second post-season appearance.

Special Teams: The Bruins were the only team to leave round one unscathed by their opponent’s power play, successfully killing all eight Montreal Canadiens manpower advantages. The Hurricanes' power play will have to improve on its 6.9% success rate (2 for 29) in the first-round victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Boston Connection I: Hurricanes LW Sergei Samsonov was selected by the Bruins eighth overall in the 1997 Entry Draft. He played 514 regular-season and 35 playoff games with the club over his first eight NHL seasons, including a career-high 29-goal and 75-point campaign in 2000-01. Samsonov was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers on March 9, 2006 -- trade deadline day -- in exchange for forwards Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a 2nd-round draft pick in 2006 that the Bruins used to select LW Milan Lucic.

Boston Connection II:
A Calgary native, Hurricanes RW Patrick Eaves traveled east to play hockey at Boston College from 2002-03 through 2004-05. He earned Hockey East and NCAA First All-Star Team honors in his final year.

Boston Bruins

NHL Playoff Appearance: 64th (second consecutive)
Stanley Cups: 5 (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972)
All-Time Playoff Series Record: 48-58
All-Time Playoff Game Record: 249-268-6

Key Acquisitions

Mar. 4: Acquired D Steve Montador from Anaheim for C Petteri Nokelainen.

Mar. 4: Acquired RW Mark Recchi and Tampa Bay's 2nd-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft from Tampa Bay for D Matt Lashoff and RW Martins Karsums.

Season Highlights

The Bruins ranked second in the NHL in offense in 2008-09 with 274 goals, a dramatic turnaround from their #25 ranking in 2007-08 when they tallied 212. They hit the 30-win mark in their 41st game of the season (30-7-4) on Jan. 8 vs. Ottawa, the fastest they have reached 30 wins since 1929-30 (30-4-1). Their 10-game win streak from Dec. 12-Jan. 1 was their longest since Mar. 9-28, 1973 and tied for the fourth longest such streak in their history.

Tim Thomas led the NHL in goals-against average (2.10) and save percentage (.933), the first goaltender to complete the statistical double since Dallas' Marty Turco in 2002-03. He is the first Bruins goaltender to led the League in GAA since Pete Peeters in 1982-83 and the first Bruin to post the top save percentage since the statistic was introduced in 1976-77. Thomas and Boston teammate Manny Fernandez are the winners of the William Jennings Trophy as the Bruins allowed a League-low 196 goals this season and Thomas earned his first career selection as a Vezina Trophy finalist.

Phil Kessel posted an 18-game point streak from Nov. 13 to Dec. 21, the longest in the NHL this season. Kessel recorded 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in that span. It was the longest such streak by a Bruin since Adam Oates' 20-game run from Jan. 7 to Feb. 20, 1997 and the fifth-longest in team history.

Milan Lucic evoked memories of Bruins legend Cam Neely among the Boston faithful with a vivid physical play and scoring in consecutive games. Lucic delivered a thundering hit on Toronto's Mike Van Ryn Oct. 23 followed by a hat trick against Atlanta two nights later. Lucic ended his sophomore NHL season with career highs in goals (17), assists (25) and points (42).

Blake Wheeler finished seventh in rookie scoring with 21-24--45 in 81 games. He led all rookies in plus-minus and was second behind teammate David Krejci among all NHL players with a +36 rating -- the best among NHL rookies since Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom posted a +36 in 1991-92.

Zdeno Chara again provided the Bruins with major minutes on the blueline, ranking sixth among NHL players in average ice time per game (26:04). Chara also ranked 12th among defensemen in scoring with 19-31--50. He made headlines at NHL All-Star Weekend by blasting a 105.4-mph slap shot to win the Cisco NHL Hardest Shot title for the third consecutive year and break the record of 105.2 mph set by Al Iafrate in 1993 in the Montreal Forum. Chara is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman.

Marc Savard led the Bruins in scoring for the third consecutive season, tallying 88 points (25 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games. Savard has registered 269 assists over the past four seasons; the only NHL player with more is San Jose’s Joe Thornton (316).

Key Wins

Oct. 9: Patrice Bergeron made his return to the NHL after missing all but 10 games of the 2007-08 season with a concussion and David Krejci scored with 2:36 remaining in regulation to break a 4-4 tie and give the Bruins a 5-4 victory at Colorado in their season opener. In a preview of a successful rookie season to come, Blake Wheeler scored in his first career NHL game.

Nov. 29: The Bruins notched their ninth consecutive home victory and capped an 11-1-1 November -- their most productive month in 30 years -- by defeating the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings 4-1. The Red Wings lost a road game in regulation for just the second time in 2008-09 (10-2-2).

Jan. 1: The Bruins extended their winning streak to 10 games -- their longest since a 10-gamer from March 9-28, 1973 -- and rose to first place in the NHL standings with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jan. 21: Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, the Bruins scored a pair of power-play goals to tie the score and went on to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout at Air Canada Centre. It marked the first victory of the season for the Bruins in which they trailed entering the final period.

Mar. 22: The Bruins clinched the Northeast Division title for the first time since 2003-04 and extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference to five points, turning back the hard-charging New Jersey Devils by posting a 4-1 win.

Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Playoff Appearance: 13th (first since 2006)
Stanley Cups: 1 (2006)
All-Time Playoff Series Record: 9-11
All-Time Playoff Game Record: 55-61

Key Acquisitions

Feb. 7: Acquired LW Jussi Jokinen from Tampa Bay for LW Wade Brookbank, D Josef Melichar and Carolina's 4th-round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft.

Mar. 4: Acquired LW Erik Cole from Edmonton for C Patrick O'Sullivan and Carolina's 2nd-round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft.

Season Highlights

With a furious stretch drive, the Hurricanes qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06 and the fifth time in the 11 seasons since the franchise relocated from Hartford. Feast or famine has been Carolina’s recent postseason story -- it went to the 2002 Final, missed the playoffs the next two seasons, won the 2006 Stanley Cup and missed the playoffs the next two seasons. The Hurricanes went 13-1-2 in a 16-game stretch from Mar. 3 to Apr. 7 to soar into the Eastern Conference's top eight.

Paul Maurice replaced the man who had replaced him, Peter Laviolette, when he took over as Carolina head coach for the second time on Dec. 3. Maurice led Carolina to its first playoff success -- a run to the 2002 Final. Laviolette took over for Maurice on Dec. 15. 2003 and coached the Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup. Carolina went 33-19-5 under Maurice this season.

C Eric Staal added to his reputation as one of the League’s premier power forwards by scoring 40 goals, the fourth straight season the fifth-year player has eclipsed 30 goals. Staal broke a franchise record by recording his fourth hat trick of the season Apr. 7 vs. the NY Islanders. He was a force down the stretch, scoring 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in the Hurricanes’ final 20 games. Carolina went 22-3-2 in games in which he scored a goal and eight of his goals were game-winners. Staal has missed just one game (Mar. 19, 2004) to injury his entire career -- including playoffs, he has played in 368 consecutive games.

Having made an emotional return to the Hurricanes’ lineup for Game 6 of the 2006 Final after missing 3½ months with a broken neck, LW Erik Cole returned to the Carolina franchise Mar. 4 via a three-way trade after spending the season’s first six months with Edmonton. He scored 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 17 games upon rejoining Carolina. The ‘Canes went 12-3-2 after his return.

Consistently productive LW Ray Whitney produced one of the best of his 16 NHL seasons by reaching the 20-goal mark for the eighth time and eclipsing 70 points for the third time. Another ‘Cane who finished strong, he recorded 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) over the final 18 games. On Mar. 6 vs. Calgary, Whitney scored his 300th career goal to complete his third NHL hat trick. On Mar. 25 vs. Ottawa, he recorded his 500th career assist.

G Cam Ward’s brilliance was as big a reason as any for Carolina’s late-season success. Ward started 28 consecutive games from Feb. 7 to Apr. 9, going 19-7-2 record, 2.30 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts in that span. He set a franchise record by posting nine consecutive victories from Mar. 18 to Apr. 7. His victory over the New York Islanders on Apr. 7 was his 39th win and seventh shutout of the season, breaking and tying the respective franchise In March, he went 10-1-2 with a 1.98 goals against average and .938 save percentage to be named NHL 'First Star' of the Month.

Key Wins

Oct. 11: One night after overcoming a two-goal deficit in defeating the Florida Panthers in their season opener, the Hurricanes came from even further off the pace to win their second game. Trailing 3-0 late in the second period at Tampa Bay, Carolina launched a comeback that culminated in Eric Staal's game-tying goal in the third period and game-winner with 23.6 seconds remaining in overtime.

Oct. 25: The Hurricanes escaped from Long Island with a 4-3 overtime victory over Long Island despite being outside 60-28. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward stopped 57 shots -- the most by a goaltender in the NHL this season -- in withstanding a barrage that set an Islanders franchise record for most shots in a regular-season game.

Mar. 3: In a game that many will remember for Washington's Alexander Semin scoring a goal from his knees, it was the Hurricanes who got the win, scoring in a variety of ways in a 5-2 victory over the Capitals. Carolina tallied on a penalty shot, shorthanded, on the power play and at even strength. The win launched Carolina on one of the best extended runs by any club this season; they earned a point in 14 of 15 games from Mar. 3 through Apr. 4 (12-1-2).

Apr. 4: Defenseman Anton Babchuk scored at 1:11 of overtime -- his third game-winner in an eight-game span -- to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and their first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since 2006.

Apr. 7: The Hurricanes tied a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory and extended their team-record home winning streak to 12 with a 9-0 win over the New York Islanders. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward posted a team-record 39th victory of the season and center Eric Staal set a team mark with his fourth hat trick of the campaign. The 57-12 shots advantage also was the widest in team history.
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