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The Carolina Hurricanes put an end to the magical season for the Bruins as Scott Walker (yes, the guy who sucker punched Aaron Ward in Game 5) scored with just more than a minute left in the first overtime to send the Canes to the Conference Finals and the Bruins to the golf course.
“I just went to the net and whacked one in,” Walker said. “Didn’t take much skill.”
Tim Thomas (34 saves) was spectacular all night but gave up a fat rebound in front of the net on what seemed like a harmless shot from the blue line and Walker poked it in for the game-winner.
The Bruins scored first in the game as Byron Bitz scored his first playoff goal 7:42 into the contest. The Hurricanes answered with a Rod Brind’Amour goal later in the period and took the lead in the second when former Bruin Sergei Samsonov scored.
With the TD Banknorth rocking and less than 14 minutes left in regulation, Milan Lucic scored to tie the game, 2-2. Eventually, the game went into overtime, where the Bruins came up short.
Cam Ward was dominant as well, finishing with 34 saves of his own. He was the MVP of the 2006 playoffs when Carolina won it all, and they will need him if they want to get past Sidney Crosby’s Penguins.
The Bruins meanwhile, are now 0-21 in series when they trail 3-1. Only twice have they forced Game 7: last year against the Canadiens and this year against the Hurricanes. Perhaps they can finally get over the hump next season.
Watch for a season recap to be released in the coming days here on Sports of Boston.