There was no rally in Raleigh on Tuesday night and the Hurricanes suffered their first home loss of the postseason.
The Canes were 5-0 at home heading into Game 3 against the Bruins and they were hoping to improve on that record after dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final in Boston. However, the Bruins stayed hot and brought a stingy performance on Tuesday, earning their sixth straight win of the playoffs.
Tuukka Rask was the difference in a 2-1 Game 3 victory, making 35 saves in the win to push Carolina to the brink of elimination. The Hurricanes will look to save their season on home ice in Game 4 on Thursday.
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NHL Playoffs for Tuesday, May 14
- Game 3: FINAL - Bruins 2, Hurricanes 1 (Bruins lead 3-0) [Box score]
Canes can't climb back, fall to brink
The Bruins looked like they had taken a 3-1 lead in the third but had a goal negated due to goalie interference. Boston challenged the ruling but, ultimately, officials determined that Jake DeBrusk interfered with Curtis McElhinney's ability to play the position and the score stayed 2-1.
That score held until the final horn, giving the Bruins a tight victory in Game 3 and pushing the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination. The Canes put on a late push but Tuukka Rask held strong in net for the Bruins to preserve the lead even as Carolina worked with an extra skater.
Bruins seize a lead in second
After getting run around in the first period, the Bruins brought a much stronger effort in the second and grabbed the game's opening goal just 81 seconds into the period. That goal belonged to Bruins' fourth liner Chris Wagner, who delivered on a doorstep finish after a great feed from Joakim Nordstrom.
The Bruins' production from the third and fourth lines has been a big reason why they've been able to jump out to a commanding lead in this series.
Another big reason for Boston controlling the series? Special teams play. The Bruins doubled that lead later in the period when Brad Marchand netted a power play goal that beat Curtis McElhinney.
But the Canes were finally able to break through against Tuukka Rask and get on the board when Calvin deHaan scored his first goal in 69 games on a slapper that crept its way through Rask's five-hole.
De Haan had plenty of space to wind up and fire on that shot, but it's probably a save that Rask wishes he had. That being said, he's certainly made up for it in other spots for the Bruins tonight.
After getting outshot 20-6 in the first period, the Bruins held a 16-6 advantage in the middle frame. This game is 2-1 Bruins heading into a crucial third period in Raleigh
Hurricanes come out blazing but get frustrated
Game 3 is something of a must-win game for Carolina and you could tell the urgency was there right out of the gate for the Hurricanes. They came out blazing and dominated much of the first period against the Bruins, outshooting Boston 20-6 in the opening frame.
However, they couldn't produce any offense on the scoreboard, though not for a lack of opportunity. They blew some chances...
...and were denied by the spectacular goaltending of Tuukka Rask on others.
The Canes also had several fruitless power play opportunities in the opening period. Overall, it was a great period for Carolina, but it's rather demoralizing for the home team that the score remains 0-0 heading into first intermission.