Bruins beat Hurricanes 4-1, even series at 2 games apiece
Posted: Tuesday May 04, 1999 12:44 PM
BOSTON (AP) -- Landon Wilson stood with his left arm in a sling in the victorious Boston locker room. Fortunately for the Bruins, he scored the winning goal before separating his shoulder.
Wilson jammed the puck across the goal line at 3:54 of the third period on a power play, breaking a 1-1 tie and sparking the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night that evened their playoff series at 2-2.
"I'm getting an opportunity to play and I'm trying to make the most of it," said Wilson, who spent most of the season in the AHL but has been one of Boston's most effective forwards in the series.
He was hurt with 6:30 left in the game when he was hit by Steven Halko. He said he won't play in Friday night's fifth game of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal. He wouldn't rule out a return for Game 6 Sunday night in Boston.
The Hurricanes hoped there wouldn't be one.
"We're content now going home with a split, but our mindset going into this game wasn't to come back for Game 6," Carolina's Keith Primeau said.
The Hurricanes will return to a city where the Bruins are just 2-11 in their last 13 playoff games. Wednesday night's win was their first in their last five games at the FleetCenter. The Hurricanes are 0-5 in playoff series that were tied at 2-2.
"I thought we responded very well after going down 1-0 to finally win at home," Boston goalie Byron Dafoe said. "Even though we got down early, we didn't pack it in."
In fact, Ray Sheppard's goal on a rising shot from the top of the right circle that put Carolina ahead just 4:21 into the game may have steered the Hurricanes away from their style of dumping the puck in and chasing after it.
"The early goal may have hurt us," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.
"Because Ray scores on a rush doesn't mean that's the way we create offense," Primeau said. "All of a sudden we thought we could score on the rush and that really hurt us because we turned the puck over a lot in the neutral zone."
Don Sweeney, who had two goals in 81 regular-season games, tied it at 1-1 with 1:42 left in the second period before Wilson got his first goal in five career playoff games. Steve Heinze connected with 8:44 left and Rob DiMaio added an empty net goal with 37 seconds remaining.
"He's been around. He knows what the playoffs are all about," Boston coach Pat Burns said of Sweeney, who scored his seventh goal in 85 playoff games. "We don't really notice him a lot and, all of a sudden, he makes the big hit and tonight he scored the big goal."
The Hurricanes' chances seemed good Wednesday night following consecutive 3-2 wins after the Bruins had won the opener 2-0. Carolina is just 7-22 in road playoff games but three of those wins came at Boston.
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.
"I thought [Thornton's shot] was going to curl in, but it didn't," Wilson said. "Now it hurts to not play because we're playing so well. I want to be part of it."
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.
"We made some mistakes in the neutral zone and it came back to haunt us," Sheppard said, "but we achieved what we came here for."
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