Hurricanes beats Bruins 2-1 in SO to hurt Boston's playoff hopes
BOSTON >> Noah Hanifin scored the only goal of a shootout in the fifth round and Cam Ward stopped 35 shots to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat Boston 2-1 on Tuesday night and dent the Bruins' playoff hopes.
Loui Eriksson's third-period tying goal helped the Bruins force overtime and earn one point, giving them 91 for the season and moving them into a tie with the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
The Flyers have four games remaining and Detroit has three; Boston has two, including Thursday night against the Red Wings.
Jaccob Slavin scored for Carolina, which is already out of playoff contention.
Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots for the Bruins.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, the fans began chanting "We want playoffs!" But they will have to wait at least a couple games, with Thursday night's matchup against the Red Wings followed by the season finale on Saturday against the also-ran Senators.
Slavin scored for Carolina with just under 2 minutes left in the first period, and it was still 1-0 when Ericksson was sent off for tripping with half a minute left in the second. He came back early in the third just as a clearing pass was skittering in front of the Carolina bench, with the Hurricanes taking a casual line change.
Eriksson crossed the ice, picked up the puck as the departing Hurricanes climbed over the boards and skated in alone on Ward before reaching around him to deposit the puck in the net.
The Hurricanes came closest to taking the lead in regulation when Brett Pesce's shot got under Rask's arm and trickled toward the net. But Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara outreached Carolina's Elias Lindholm for the puck and swept it safely away.
Midway through overtime, Jordan Staal was called for tripping, but Boston's Colin Miller was sent off for embellishment, leaving the teams at equal strength. That brought it to the shootout, and the first nine skaters were stopped before Hanifin beat Rask.
NOTES: After the game, fans were invited to stay in their seats to film a scene for the Boston Marathon bombing movie "Stronger," in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays bombing victim Jeff Bauman. ... Carolina has earned at least one point in 13 of its last 16 games. ... It was Slavin's second career NHL goal.
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