Boston, Mass. (RPRN) 5/15/2009– It was the ultimate heartbreaker — coming back from a (3-1) series deficit to force a Game 7, only to lose in the first overtime period. The winning goal? Scored by the man who sucker-punched Bruins defenceman Aaron Ward in Game 5 on Boston’s home ice.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, the Bruins fell behind 2-1 by the end of the second period. Milan Lucic tied the game at 2-2 in the third, roofing the puck on a pass from behind the net off the stick of Marc Savard.
The game went to overtime, and it was not until the final minutes of the first overtime period that Carolina’s Scott Walker put an end to the game and the series. He put home a rebound off a Ray Whitney shot for his first NHL Playoffs goal. Boston had lost its Stanley Cup hopes.
“It hurts a lot. I really believe that we had what it takes in this locker room to go far,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s very disappointing to be on the losing side here, especially in front of our fans.”
“You like that battle all year and it comes down to one shot and one goal,” rookie forward Byron Bitz said. “It’s like a knife in the heart — it’s tough to take.”
“It sucks. We worked hard all season, we get ourselves down (3-1), we worked so hard to get back and we don’t get rewarded. It could be a much better feeling right now,” Milan Lucic said.
“We can say what we want, but we had higher expectations than this,” head coach Claude Julien
said. “There’s no doubt that the players are upset and so are we as a coaching staff. In overtime it’s about bounces, and they made their own bounces and took advantage of it.”
“It was a good ride,” goaltender Tim Thomas said. “It was only 7 months ago that a lot of people were barely picking us to make the playoffs. Some of us were thinking we overachieved the year before by making the playoffs. It was a great ride for the whole year. I don’t think this is how we envisioned this ending.”
“You can take a lot from this season, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow for a bit here,” Lucic said.