BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins earned Game 7 with another dominant performance at home.
The problem: The clincher will be in Carolina, where the Hurricanes have been just as unbeatable.
“Everybody loves a Game 7,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said after the Bruins won 5-2 Thursday night to tie their first-round playoff series against Carolina at three games apiece. “We prefer to be at home, I’m not going to lie to you.
“But we would play them on Mars if we had to.”
Jeremy Swayman stopped 23 shots and Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist for Boston in the sixth straight blowout for the home side. Charlie Coyle also had a goal and an assist for Boston, and Erik Haula and Derek Forbort added third period goals before Curtis Lazar put the puck in the empty net with 4:17 remaining to make it 5. -1.
“We have to win, now, a game on the road. It’s in front of us,” Cassidy said. “We knew when we started we had to win at least one to qualify. So this is it. »
The Hurricanes host Game 7 on Saturday in Raleigh, where they went 3-0 by a combined score of 15-4. The winner will face the Penguins or Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals; Pittsburgh leads this series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Friday night.
“The good news is we have another game to play,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Right now it’s tough. You should feel brutal, to be honest with you. And then you wake up and you feel excited to have an opportunity.
Two days after losing 5-1 at Carolina, the Bruins returned home and put on an equally one-sided performance.
Andrei Svechnikov scored twice and Antti Raanta made 29 saves for the Hurricanes. Neither Swayman, a rookie, nor Raanta have ever played in a seventh game.
“I can’t wait,” said Swayman, who took over after Linus Ullmark lost the first two games at Carolina. “It’s Game 7. We’re extremely excited. … It’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of. Couldn’t ask for much more.”
Marchand broke a scoreless tie 46 seconds into the second period, taking a long cross pass from Connor Clifton and skating to the right circle before looping it over Raanta’s glove.
Coyle gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the final two minutes of the period, taking advantage of the sliding rebound from David Pastrnak’s one-timer. Svechnikov made it a one-goal game early in the third before Haula and Forbort returned his cushion to Boston.
Svechnikov’s second goal came with 2:30 to go on the power play for a minor double at Marchand for throwing.