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'Canes see power play come to life on home ice

by John Manasso /
RALEIGH, N.C. – Maybe the cure for the Carolina Hurricanes’ anemic power play was some home-cooking.

Carolina barbeque anyone?

The Boston Bruins are almost that after the Hurricanes’ power play went 2-for-4 in Game 4 en route to a 4-1 victory at the RBC Center that puts the Hurricanes one win away from their third Eastern Conference Finals appearance in seven seasons.

And once again the hero was center Jussi Jokinen, whose power-play goal at 2:52 of the third period held up as his third game-winner of the playoffs and second in two games.

Jokinen, who is one playoff goal short of his regular season total in 60 fewer games, said he only played on the power play sparingly in the first round, but he has been a mainstay on the second unit in this series. Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour earned his first point of the playoffs by assisting on Jokinen’s goal – a pass he slid between the post and Boston goalie Tim Thomas for Jokinen to serve into an open net.

Carolina's power play -- 3 for 7 in the last two games -- appears to have been bolstered in large part by more opportunities. Boston allowed only one apiece in each of the first two games.

"It’s tough to score with only one chance," Jokinen said. "Now we’re moving much better. If you are struggling on the power play, you have to keep it simple. Shoot and get rebounds."

Center Eric Staal had Carolina’s first power-play goal and then scored another special-teams goal to cap the scoring with that one coming at 4-on-4.

Staal concurred with the simplicity theme.

"I think it’s just doing simple things," he said. "We’re shooting pucks, we’re moving the puck well when we need to, and in the playoffs it’s about getting traffic and shooting pucks, and guys are moving around pretty good."

Maybe all those red-clad fans had something to do with putting the iron back in the blood of Carolina’s power play. Coach Paul Maurice said the power-play unit was more confident and hinted that might come from the thunderous crowd.

"The times we spend too much time on the perimeter nothing generates," Maurice said. "You go on the power play and the crowd’s behind you and you shoot a lot of pucks and good things will happen."

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