Hurricanes win date with Bruins
The Carolina Hurricanes stole their first-round series from the New Jersey Devils with one of the most stunning comebacks in NHL playoff history.
Jussi Jokinen and Eric Staal scored in a 48-second span late in the third period as the Hurricanes shocked the Devils, 4-3, last night in Newark, N.J., in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference series.
The Hurricanes will face the Bruins in the second round, beginning Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden at 7:30. Boston swept its four-game season series with Carolina.
"This is as sweet as it comes," said goaltender Cam Ward, who kept the Hurricanes in the game in the final 25 minutes with at least six outstanding saves with his team trailing, 3-2. "What a finish. It's hard to believe right now just because we were down, 3-2, with only two minutes to go. How quickly things can change. That's why you never give up and play until the final buzzer."
Jokinen tied it after taking a great cross-ice setup by Joni Pitkanen. Staal then buried the Devils with a shot from the middle of the right circle after a rush up the ice with 31.7 seconds to play.
"It was pretty quiet when Jussi scored," Staal said. "We were on the bench and we were obviously the only ones cheering and pretty excited. We went over the boards after that goal and we were like, 'Why not get another one?' It happened and we'll take the win."
Tuomo Ruutu and Ray Whitney also scored for Carolina and Ward was magnificent, making 32 saves.
Brian Rolston, Jay Pandolfo and Jamie Langenbrunner connected for New Jersey, while Martin Brodeur made 27 saves in a game that will be remembered as much for Carolina's comeback as the Devils' choke.
"I really don't know what to say. I am shocked, stunned," Devils coach Brent Sutter said.
Capitals 2, Rangers 1 - Sergei Fedorov beat Henrik Lundqvist with 4:59 left in the third period, and host Washington edged New York in Game 7, becoming the 21st team in league history to win a series after trailing 3-1.
It's also the franchise's first series victory since the 1997-98 season, when Washington made it to the Stanley Cup finals.
It must feel sweet to the 16 players who were on the team a year ago, when the Capitals also trailed, 3-1, in the first round, and forced a Game 7 at home - only to lose to Philadelphia in overtime.
The Capitals will face the Penguins next.
New York's Nik Antropov and Washington's Alexander Semin traded first-period goals. Fedorov took a pass from Matt Bradley on his winner and, with Rangers defenseman Wade Redden screening Lundqvist, sent a shot inside the far post.
Washington limited New York to one shot in the third period.