Ryan Craig

Bruins' Chara breaks out in Game 5

Posted May 10, 2009
Updated May 11, 2009

Even with a 3-1 series lead heading into Sunday night’s Game 5, the Hurricanes spoke at length after their win in Game 4 about closing out the series in Boston.

Carolina knew that Boston was a skilled team that simply wasn’t playing well and that if given the chance to find their game, the Bruins could get on the type of roll that could carry them all the way to a series win.

One player who epitomized the underachieving effort put forth by Claude Julien’s team the last three games was Zdeno Chara, the Norris Trophy finalist who had found himself on the losing end of his highly-touted match-up with the Canes’ Eric Staal.

If the entire Boston franchise was a sleeping giant, then the 6-foot-9 Chara was its poster boy.

After the Bruins’ impressive, 4-0 Game 5 win Sunday night with elimination on the line, it’s safe to say the giant is awake.

For the first time in the series, Chara looked the part of one of the NHL’s best blueliners.

On both ends of the ice, the Boston captain was everywhere.

On the offensive end, he tallied two assists, one on Mark Recchi’s redirect in the first period to make it 1-0 for the home team and the other on Phil Kessel’s second goal of the evening that gave his team a three-goal lead and all but put the game out of reach.

Even more than in the box score, Chara’s presence was felt along the boards, where the tallest player in league history consistently punished Hurricanes skaters.

Credited with five hits on the night (the most by any player for either team), the four-time All-Star made a statement when he laid out Eric Staal twice on one shift – once when Chara initiated the contact in the open ice and a second time when Staal tried to exact some revenge on the forecheck.

Certainly, the Canes are still in a good position – they still have the series lead and a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference finals at the NHL’s loudest house Tuesday night.

With the return of the Bruins’ scoring touch and the re-emergence of one of the game’s greatest defenseman, however, the Hurricanes’ task just got a little more daunting.

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  • foetine May 11, 3:11 p.m.

    Cash is cash. He knows the odds are against the Bruins coming back completely. He wants his money. He went off on LaV because he didn't make that playoff cash. Teams take dives all the time to grab lottery picks or improve the first round playoff match ups - why not tank to collect an additional $2-3 million payday?

  • StunGunn May 11, 2:39 p.m.

    you guys don't understand that Rutherford wanted the Canes to lose. He wants you to buy Game 6... View More

    — Posted by foetine

    Another conspiracy theory? I don't think Rutherford would risk losing the series. If we win, he gets another 2 guaranteed games at the RBC for the next series, which will show him the $$$.

  • foetine May 11, 2:12 p.m.

    you guys don't understand that Rutherford wanted the Canes to lose. He wants you to buy Game 6 tickets. He needs to sell those $300 seats. He can't afford to let his team win in 5. That costs him $2 million. He's already said that this is a team that lost a fortune by not making the playoffs for the last two seasons. He can't allow winning get in the way of cash.

  • 1Packfan May 11, 1:18 p.m.

    being realistic here. we either take care of business tomorrow night, or we lose in 7 games. no way we'll get a fair shake in boston - we saw that last night. we were not only playing the B's, but also the striped shirts.

    But, let's not worry about game 7! Let's turn the clock back to Friday and go bear huntin' tomorrow night!

  • Cragsdale May 11, 1:05 p.m.

    This story is pretty much worthless imo . It's hard for any team to win a game when the officials make you play 5 on 4 for 60 minutes. take a look at the penalty minutes assesed and the disparity in all 3 games played in Boston, yeah, just a little unbalanced is all I'm sayin.

  • StunGunn May 11, 7:01 a.m.

    Tuesday is a must win for the Canes. We don't want to drop another and end up back in Beantown with the series tied. Home cookin' should help, and Mo and Ronnis will figure out what has to be done. C'mon Canes - one more!

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