Carolina 1, Boston 4Final
7:30 PM ET, May 1, 2009, TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MassachusettsSavard scores twice as Bruins blow past Hurricanes in Game 1
BOSTON -- Aaron Ward
laughed when he saw all the newspaper articles asking whether the Boston Bruins
would be rusty from the long layoff they earned by sweeping Montreal in the first round.Fast Facts
• Marc Savard scored twice to lead the Bruins to victory in Game 1. Savard has four goals in the playoffs this year. He has one goal in his previous seven postseason games.
• The Hurricanes have won their last four postseason series when losing Game 1.
• Jussi Jokinen scored Carolina's only goal, giving him four goals in his last five games.
• Michael Ryder, who had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, has a point in all five postseason games.
• The Bruins have killed all nine power plays they have faced in the playoffs, while the Hurricanes are 2-for-30 on the power play since the end of the regular season. -- ESPN Stats & Information
"When you are at this stage of the season, your athleticism should take over," the Boston defenseman said Friday night after the Bruins scored on the first shot of the series and pulled away from the Carolina Hurricanes
to win 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. "You should never be rusty at this stage of the playoffs."Tim Thomas
stopped 26 shots, and Marc Savard
scored twice for the Bruins, the top-seeded team remaining in the NHL playoffs. Michael Ryder
scored for the fourth game in a row as Boston, which swept the Hurricanes during the regular season, made it five straight -- by a total score of 22-7.
"Whether we lost 10-0 or 4-1 it makes no difference," Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour
said. "It's a loss, and we're going to have to regroup and do better next game."Cam Ward
made 20 saves, and Jussi Jokinen
scored the lone goal for Carolina.
Game 2 is Sunday in Boston.
"We've got to know that we can beat these guys. We've got to feel confident," Hurricanes forward Eric Staal
said. "It's a best-of-seven series for a reason. We can be better; we know that. We've got to ... forget about this one and look forward to Game 2."
Thomas won his 11th consecutive game, including four straight in the first round against rival Montreal that was Boston's first playoff series victory since beating the Hurricanes in 1999. The sweep of the Canadiens left Boston with eight days off to prepare; they didn't even find out their second-round opponent until Tuesday night, when Carolina scored twice in the last 80 seconds of Game 7 against New Jersey to oust the Devils.
"There was some rust in the first period," Thomas said. "Not anything that was a game-changer, but we got better and better as the game went on and shook the rust off. After nine days off, one bad period is not a bad place to be."
Boston scored just 94 seconds in -- on the first shot of the game -- when Ryder dug the puck out from behind the net and passed it to the point for Aaron Ward. The defenseman's wrist shot was tipped in by David Krejci
Carolina tied it with 1:10 left in the first when Jokinen put a slap shot past Thomas a split-second before the goalie was flattened by Ryan Bayda
. The goal counted, and Bayda went off for interference.
"I was too busy watching the puck go in," Thomas said. "So I didn't see that one at all."
But that was the only time Thomas was off his game.
He made a save on Tuomo Ruutu
midway through the first just before the Hurricanes forward was checked into the crossbar, dislodging the net. With just under 15 minutes left in the game, Thomas made a left-pad save on Eric Staal at point-blank range to keep it a two-goal game.
Two minutes later, Savard took a drop pass from Phil Kessel
and beat Ward to make it 4-1.
The Hurricanes lost the opener of the New Jersey series by the same score.
Ryder and Kessel have at least one point in each playoff game Boston has played this year. ... It was Thomas' sixth straight game allowing two goals or fewer. ... The last time the teams played in the playoffs, in 1999, Hurricanes defenseman Steve Chiasson
was killed in a drunken driving accident hours after Carolina returned home. ... Andrew Ference
, who hadn't played since April 4. ... With his 31st playoff appearance, Cam Ward became the franchise leader in games played among goalies. ... Julien was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year.