The Carolina Hurricanes' Cinderella run has officially come to an end. The Hurricanes dropped Game 4 to the Bruins at home on Thursday night, giving Boston the sweep and a ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.
It was a rather dominant 4-0 win for the Bruins on Thursday. Even without captain Zdeno Chara in the lineup due to injury, Boston played a tremendous defensive game and shut down the Canes for the series-clinching victory. Patrice Bergeron scored twice in the win.
The Carolina Hurricaneshad a crazy road in these playoffs, upsetting the reigning championCapitals in seven games in the first round, then sweeping the Islanders in Round 2. But the Bruins were clearly the better team in this series, winning the final three games in rather convincing fashion.
Tuukka Rask was nothing short of brilliant this series for the Bruins, and that trend continued on Thursday night as he made 24 saves in the finale.
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It was more of the same in the third period. The Bruins continued to dominate and the Hurricanes couldn't get anything going offensively. Boston stretched their lead to 3-0 when they capitalized on a Jacob Slavin turnover and Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the game.
Special teams have been a major advantage for the Bruins in this series and that remains the case again in Game 4. The Bruins managed to strike twice on the power play in the second period, giving them a 2-0 lead heading into the final period.
The first PP tally came on a great connection between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Marchand faked a shot and delivered a pinpoint pass to Pastrnak, who finished just inside the post on an overcommitted Curtis McElhinney.
The second tally also came as a result of great puck movement, and this time it was Patrice Bergeron finishing the job.
The Hurricanes weren't able to get anything going offensively in the second period and they have failed to make the necessary adjustments to put any pressure on the Bruins. They've continuously tried to generate chances from the point but the Bruins are denying them of rebounds and position in front of the net.
The Canes will have to get a little more creative in the third if they want to save their season.
It was a scoreless first period in Carolina, with chances going both ways. The goalies were solid on both ends of the ice, though Curtis McElhinney had a bit of a sexier first period with some of the great stops he made.
The shots were 13-11 in favor of Carolina in the first, while scoring chances were 8-5 in favor of Boston. The Bruins seemed to commit to overpassing more than a few times in that opening period, passing up some great chances to test McElhinney. They'll likely want to simplify their offense in the second period.