Bruins whip ’Canes

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.

Boston Bruin Marc Savard celebrates his second-period goal as the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Friday to open their best-of-seven series.

Bruins 4 Hurricanes 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.

“When you are at this stage of the season, your athleticism should take over,” the Boston defenceman 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 when Ryder dug the puck out from behind the net and passed it to the point for Ward. The defenceman’s wrist shot was tipped in by David Krejci.

Carolina tied it with 1:10 left in the first when Jokinen put a slapshot 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.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Most Read