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Monday, May 4, 2009

Cam Ward and his Conn Smythe trophy say hi

A funny thing happened on the way to winning the 2009 Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins. Somebody decided to give them a game.

Dreams of a 16-0 streak to the Cup were erased last night as Carolina thoroughly outplayed Boston when it mattered and came away with a 3-0 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Garden.

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward was the story as he stopped all 36 shots in recording his fourth career shutout. It's easy to forget but he was the playoff MVP when Carolina came out of nowhere to win the Cup in 2006.

After a scoreless first period, the second period was when the game was lost for the B's.

At 2:30 Carolina defenseman Joe Corvo blasted a slap shot past a screened Tim Thomas (22 saves). Erik Cole and Eric Staal assisted on the goal.

Just over five minutes later, Matt Cullen scored a short-handed goal for the Hurricanes. Zdeno Chara's bad pass in the offensive zone was the catalyst for an odd-man rush which eventually resulted in the tally. Chad LaRose followed his shot behind the net and then found Cullen alone out front.

LaRose seemed to score again with 0.2 seconds left in the second when he flipped a shot over Thomas' shoulder that hit the post then spun on the goal line. On the ice initially it was called no goal. It took forever to review it (and it looked like a goal on second-tenth viewing) and the refs did not overturn it. This could have been a huge break for Boston but they really didn't do anything about it.

The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 16-3 in the third and Ward made a couple dandy saves, including a left leg pad save on Michael Ryder during a power play.

Staal scored an empty-netter with 28 seconds remaining.

Game 3 and 4 shifts back to Carolina starting Wednesday night. It's the first real adversity Boston has faced this postseason so time only time will tell how they deal with it.

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