Walker Scores First Playoff Goal to Down Bruins
The Carolina Hurricanes might be the luckiest team on ice right now. One may recall a few weeks back when they stormed back into New Jersey to win the decisive Game 7 with two quick goals in the closing seconds. One might also remember that the final winning goal was just a weak shot on net that somehow trickled through superstar netminder Martin Brodeur’s pads. Well fast forward to overtime of Game 7 in Boston, and you would see a very similar occurrence. With less than two minutes to play in the first overtime, Scott Walker scored his first career playoff goal, burying a soft rebound through Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
Walker was the individual that many believed should have been suspended for his controversial sucker punch against Aaron Ward in Game 5. The Bruins had made all the right moves in attempting to come back once the Canes jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, but they were unable to finish the job in Game 7. In the first, Byron Bitz gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with his first career playoff goal, although the Canes would answer quickly with a marker from veteran Rod Brind’Amour. Sergei Samsonov scored the lone goal of the 2nd period, while Milan Lucic’s tally 6 minutes into the 3rd would end up setting the stage for Walker’s overtime heroics.
Cam Ward continued to look unstoppable, winning his 6th straight playoff series, and his 4th straight Game 7, dating back to the Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup run in 2006. Surprisingly enough, however, one of the few goalies that has better numbers than Ward’s 2.22 GAA and .927 save percentage was the man who was in net at the other end of the ice. Tim Thomas continued his stellar goalkeeping, finishing the playoffs with a 1.85 GAA and a .935 save percentage. However, the one number that matters most is under the wins column, and when you compare Thomas and Ward, only one of them has 8, while the other is headed home.
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