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Hockey

Hurricanes subside

Bruins send Carolina home with 3rd straight win

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Posted: Saturday May 29, 1999 07:10 PM

  Joe Thornton celebrates after scoring his first-period goal on Hurricanes goalie Arturs Irbe. AP

BOSTON (CNN/SI) -- Byron Dafoe posted a shutout but he had plenty of help as the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes to move into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Helped by Carolina's failure to score into empty nets, the Bruins won 2-0 to take the best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal 4-2 on May 2.

"I was fortunate on a couple of occasions," Dafoe said. "That's part of being a goaltender. You need that luck once in a while."

"In a series that's that tight checking, you can't miss those chances," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "We'd just like to be able to stop the puck in front of the net and roll it in."

Instead, the Bruins roll on. Their opponent will be determined by the winner of Tuesday's seventh game of the series between New Jersey and Pittsburgh.

If New Jersey wins, Boston opens the second round at Toronto on Thursday night. If Pittsburgh wins, the Bruins are home Thursday night for the start of the best-of-7 round against Buffalo.

"If we continue to play this way, we have as much chance to win as anyone else," said Tim Taylor, who played despite separating his shoulder in Game 5.

"There was not a whole lot that separated these teams," Carolina's Steve Chiasson said.

The Bruins won the opener 2-0, then lost the next two games 3-2. They evened the series with a 4-1 win before a 4-3 double-overtime victory in Game 5.

In Game 6, goals by Joe Thornton in the first period and Anson Carter in the second provided the offense. Dafoe handled much of his defense. His two playoff shutouts and 10 regular-season shutouts both lead the NHL.

"Everyone stepped up their game. They didn't have a chance in the third period," Dafoe said. "We're pretty good with a two-goal lead in the third."

Dafoe was at his best in the second period when Carolina outshot Boston 16-3. The Hurricanes had just four shots in the third period.

The Bruins had overcome deficits of 1-0 and 2-0 in the previous two games. They never trailed Sunday.

"I don't believe they're a better team," Carolina's Glen Wesley said. "They are a hard-working team that capitalized on their opportunities."

Boston coach Pat Burns traced the shift in the series to a strategic change in Game 4 after the Bruins decided not to play Carolina's physical style.

"One game we thought we were going to beat them up," Burns said. "The turning point came when we came back and played in control."

Two of Boston's last three wins came at home, where the Bruins had won just one of their previous 12 playoff games. The home fans were vocal even before Sunday's game.

"During the national anthem I looked at their bench and you could see a couple of them looking around," Burns said. "The sound level goes up. It has to be intimidating."

Carolina, in its second season since moving from Hartford, continued the Whalers' playoff futility. The franchise failed to reach the playoffs the past six years and was knocked out in the first round in each of the previous six.

"This is a team that has beaten me three times in the playoffs," Kevin Dineen said. "It gets to be frustrating."

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead on Thornton's power-play goal at 8:58 of the first period. Jason Allison passed the puck from behind the net to Dmitri Khristich, who slid it across the slot where Thornton pushed it under goalie Arturs Irbe. Allison, the only player to score in each game, had six assists in the series.

Boston made it 2-0 at 8:13 of the second period on a goal by Carter, who had scored at 14:45 of the second overtime in Game 5.

This time, Carter carried the puck out of his own zone and past the Carolina blue line. He gave it to Steve Heinze in the left circle, then took a return pass in the slot and shot the puck by Irbe.

Carolina dominated the attack in the period but couldn't beat Dafoe.

One shot that went wide of the net may have been the Hurricanes' best chance as Robert Kron missed with the entire right side of the goal open.

The Hurricanes missed another scoring opportunity when Dafoe, lying on his back, made a kick save of Gary Roberts' shot at 7:32 of the second period.

 
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1999 NHL Playoffs
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Joe Thornton's goal helps the Bruins eliminate the Hurricanes in Game 6.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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