Max Domi, Antti Raanta help Hurricanes beat Bruins 3-2 in Game 7

Bruins

The Bruins’ season ended on Saturday.

Carolina Hurricanes’ Max Domi, center, celebrates his second goal of the period with teammates Vincent Trocheck (16), Teuvo Teravainen (86) and Ian Cole (28) during the second period of Game 7 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series against the Boston Bruins in Raleigh, NC, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
The Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Twice before, the Carolina Hurricanes had made it to the playoffs to see their advance to a serious Stanley Cup contender being blocked by the Boston Bruins.

Two newcomers helped the Hurricanes finally get past their playoff bully — and into a Game 7.

Mid-season signing Max Domi scored twice in the second period, while Antti Raanta made 27 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday to win their first-round playoff series.

Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Hurricanes, who eventually gobbled up a team that defeated them in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals and won a five-game first round in the Toronto bubble a year later.

“It’s such a different feeling coming in here,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I think back to the others, if we had won you might have been a little surprised.

“This time I felt like it was our time. Our boys have grown up. I think they felt that too.”

Carolina advances to the second round to face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

One thing is certain: winning the Metropolitan Division title paved the way by securing home field advantage. This was a series in which neither team managed to take a road win, with the Hurricanes eventually getting the final say, backed by yet another rowdy home crowd.

“Of course we needed one on the road, and we couldn’t do that,” said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.

Carolina held out after wasting a 2-0 series lead and then a clunker performance in Thursday’s loss of Game 6 with a chance to advance.

“Game 7, Game 4, 5, 6 – whatever it is, you’re moving forward, and that’s for the best,” defender Jaccob Slavin said.

Domi was an unlikely star in this one. Carolina acquired him before the March trading deadline and he rewarded them with his first post-season goals in his career. He also assisted on Teravainen’s goal with a perfect pass to the top of the fold for the first period serve.

“Of course I was very lucky to join a team like this,” said Domi.

Then there’s Raanta, who joined Frederik Andersen in reviewing the team’s goalkeeper position. But with Andersen injured late in the regular season, Raanta took the lead in the fold, despite never having started a post-season game before.

He was stable in the net again. His biggest stop came early with a full-split save to knock Taylor Hall off the left post for a 2-on-1 chance in the first period of a goalless game.

David Pastrnak scored one with 21.7 seconds to go as Boston pulled Jeremy Swayman for the extra striker. From there, the Hurricanes had to sustain a tense clock-destroying squad before they could celebrate.

“When they got the second, it was probably the longest 20 seconds of my life,” Raanta said.

Jake DeBrusk scored in the second period for the Bruins, while Swayman finished with 28 saves. But the Bruins found themselves catching up after Domi’s first goal, which caused him to skate in on the left to bury a Jordan Staal deflection attempt at 3:14 of the second.

Later, after DeBrusk defeated Raanta from the top of the fold, Teravainen gave a pass to Domi for a one-off play. The puck sped past Swayman at 10:33 of the second for the 3-1 lead and another goal came within a few feet of the crease.

“We’re proud of the D-zone coverage, things we’ve done really well all year,” said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy. “Two bad luck who, yes, they made plays, but more on us not to get the job done defensively – being in the right places, good sticks.”

SIX RIGHT

The Hurricanes improved to 6-0 in Game 7s since the former Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997. That includes the 2006 Stanley Cup final against Edmonton, as well as a second round win in Boston in 2009 — which lasted 14 years. earlier in the day.

EARLY EXIT

The Bruins were in their sixth consecutive playoffs. But this is the first time Boston has gone away without winning a series since falling to Ottawa in a six-game run in 2017.

THE FUTURE OF BERGERON

Bergeron, the longtime number 1 center, can become an unrestricted free agent after 18 seasons with the team. He declined to talk about a new contract during the year, raising the possibility that he might leave or retire.

He wasn’t ready after that to think about what’s next.

“It’s too fresh now,” Bergeron said. “Obviously, it still sticks out from a hard-fought streak. Came up short, so of course I have to think about it. But I’m not here now.

PACKED HOUSE

The Hurricanes had their largest home crowd in franchise history with an attendance of 19,513. That surpassed the previous figure of 19,495 in the New York Islanders’ latest second-round win in 2019.

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