By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Old habits die hard for ex-Maple Leaf netminder James Reimer.
Clinging to a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes of play, and after an insane sequence that once again saw the Bruins unable to pot a goal, Carolina’s netminder was tasked with shutting the door on Boston for the final 13 minutes of the third period. That, with Jaroslav Halak surrendering two stoppable shots for goals in the first and second period, felt doable.
But when Reimer inexplicably decided to go on an adventure outside of his crease, Jake DeBrusk pounced and broke the ice for the Bruins. To the tune of four straight goals, a 4-3 final, and a 3-1 series lead for the Black and Gold.
DeBrusk’s lucky finish was the start of something straight-up ridiculous for Boston, with four goals on nine shots, and in a span of just 6:51. Right after DeBrusk, it was Connor Clifton who put a bomb through Reimer for the game-tying goal, then Brad Marchand finished a solo chance kickstarted by a great bounce-pass from Torey Krug, and then came DeBrusk’s second.
And in the middle of all this, Charlie McAvoy came through with a hit that straight-up obliterated Jordan Staal, and sent him to the room for the remainder of the evening.
It was as on-fire a stretch as the Bruins have had all series, and it all came while holding the Hurricanes to zero shots on Halak’s net at the other end. It was as close to annihilation as you could get.
But with the ‘Canes within striking distance, it was Carolina’s first shot of the period that the B’s hot-run was turned into a sweat of their own, with their lead sliced in half with just 1:27 remaining in the game.
This was actually the second time that Halak, who finished with 16 saves in the winning effort, surrendered a goal on the first shot of the period, and with both of those chances coming on what were insanely long stretches in between action.
DeBrusk, Clifton, and Ondrej Kase paced the Bruins with two points each, while McAvoy finished the night as Boston’s workhorse on the backend, with 24:59 (4:14 more than Krug’s 20:45, the second-highest total on the backend).
The Hurricanes’ goals, meanwhile, came from Justin Williams, Jordan Martinook, and Tuevo Teravainen.
David Pastrnak missed his third straight game with the ‘unfit to participate’ designation, while Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov missed Monday’s contest due to a lower-body injury sustained in the third period of Game 3.
Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, with a 4 p.m. puck drop.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.