BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final. But they’re all aware that notching a fourth win in any series is the hardest one to get.
While they’ve made building a 3-0 series lead look relatively easy against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins know their adversaries are not going to go down without a fight — their best fight — on Thursday night.
“It’s a good spot to be in, but it’s far from being over,” winger Brad Marchand said following Boston’s Game 3 victory in Raleigh Tuesday night. “If they get [Game 4] then they get life, and if we get it then we’re on to the next one. It’s a huge game for both teams and they’re going to come out even harder than they did [in Game 3].”
“The fourth one is the toughest one,” center Charlie Coyle said Wednesday. “They’re not going to sit back and just die down. They’re a good team, that’s why they’re here. They get fired up with the crowd and you saw how they came out last game. We expect that same start from them so we have to be ready for that.”
Carolina threw all they could at Tuukka Rask in the opening frame of Game 3, sending 11 shots his way over the first seven minutes. They were on the attack for much of the period, and went to the dressing room with a 20-6 advantage in shots.
But Rask kept up his amazing run and didn’t let any of those pucks find the back of the net. Despite Carolina’s onslaught from the jump, the Bruins were up 2-0 heading into the second period. The Hurricanes beat Rask just once Tuesday night, as he turned away 35 of their shots in his latest incredible postseason performance.
Boston is expecting that same intensity from the Canes on Thursday night, and this time, it’s probably going to last all 60 minutes.
“Teams that make it this far have a lot of pride and are going to want to go down swinging,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’re going to get their best.”
A 3-0 series deficit is pretty insurmountable, as only four teams have been able to dig themselves out of such a hole. But that doesn’t mean the Bruins are about to take Game 4 lightly. A handful of their current players were wearing a B’s sweater when the team blew a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009-10 postseason, and have no doubt passed along their wisdom to Boston’s young players. Let Carolina win on Thursday, and as Kevan Millar would say, anything can happen the rest of the way.
But this Boston team has shown no signs that they’re about to cough up their shot at a trip to the Cup Final. They’ve responded to adversity throughout the postseason, and will be ready for Carolina’s best shot on Thursday night.