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Bruins will face Hurricanes in semifinals, Game 1 on Friday

After the New York Rangers [1] fell to the Washington Capitals [2] by a 2-1 score in the early Game 7 on Tuesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes [3] stunned the New Jersey Devils [4] with two goals in the final two minutes of the third period to take a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in Game 7 at the Prudential Center [5]. The sixth-seeded ‘Canes are the lowest remaining seed of the four Eastern Conference teams, so — by virtue of the NHL [6] re-seeding after each round — the Bruins will take on the former Hartford Whalers in a seven-game series set to start this weekend in Boston.

The Bruins/Hurricanes series is set to begin with Game 1 on Friday night, and Game 2 will be Sunday. The B’s were a perfect 4-0 against the Hurricanes during the regular season, and outscored the ‘Canes by a big 18-6 margin in those four games. It should be noted, though, that the majority of Boston’s success against Carolina came in the first half of the season — a time when the Black and Gold were blowing out everybody. The ‘Canes, meanwhile, were a different team in the second half of the season and posted a solid 13-3-2 record after March 1 in a playoff push that impressed many.

That being said, Erik Staal was one of those Eastern Conference scorers that Zdeno Chara [7] was able to intimidate and dominate during their regular season showdowns. Staal had no points and was a -6 in the four games against Boston this season while finishing with a 40 goal season and a +15 on the year for Carolina. That is impressive defensive work.

Here’s the full schedule:

Game 1 May 1st (7:30 pm) NESN, Versus
Game 2 May 3rd (7:30 pm) Versus
Game 3 May 6th (7:30 pm) NESN, Versus
Game 4 May 8th (7:30 pm) NESN Versus
Game 5 May 10th (7:30 pm)* NESN Versus
Game 6 May 12th (7 pm)* Versus
Game 7 May 14th (TBA)* NESN Versus

*if necessary