RALEIGH, N.C. - Jussi Jokinen came through with another dramatic goal for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jokinen scored at 2:48 of overtime to lift the Hurricanes past the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Sergei Samsonov scored a goal and assisted on Jokinen's winner for the Hurricanes. Carolina outshot the Bruins 41-23 to claim a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 set for Friday night in Raleigh.
Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic both scored their first goals of the playoffs for Boston. The top-seeded team in the East has lost two straight and finds itself trailing a playoff series for the first time this year.
That is because Jokinen - who in Game 4 of the first round scored off his skate with 0.2 seconds left to beat the New Jersey Devils - delivered yet another clutch goal.
Samsonov set up the winner by moving into the low circle and firing a backhander off Tim Thomas' pads. Jokinen was positioned perfectly to tap in the rebound for his fifth goal of the playoffs.
Jokinen also scored the tying goal in Game 7 against the Devils with 1:20 left in the third period before Eric Staal netted the winner with 31.7 seconds remaining.
Thomas made 38 saves for the Bruins. Carolina's Cam Ward stopped 21 shots.
Recchi - a key member of the Hurricanes' Stanley Cup championship team in 2006 - tied it with just under 11 minutes left in regulation when he scored on a deflection, redirecting Chuck Kobasew's shot from the wing past Ward to make it 2-2. Thomas kept it tied by withstanding an onslaught by the Hurricanes, who had a 38-19 shots advantage before overtime.
Two straight shots - from Staal and Samsonov, 69 seconds apart in the second - got past Thomas, gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead and put Carolina in control for a while.
Staal started the scoring burst when he stole the puck from Steve Montador near the end line and whipped it by Thomas with 3:11 left in the second for his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs. Samsonov - one of several high-profile Hurricanes with no post-season goals - ended that dry spell just over a minute later, snapping in a pretty feed from Scott Walker.
That reignited a cowbell-clanging crowd of Caniacs, who were still buzzing after Carolina's 3-0 win Sunday in Boston that shifted home-ice advantage to Tobacco Road.
Lucic did his best to silence them for a while, scoring his first goal of the playoffs about 8 1/2 minutes in. He kept alive the sequence that led to Boston's first goal by tracking down the puck behind the goal-line. It worked its way out to Dennis Wideman at the point, and the defenceman's blast clipped Carolina's Tim Gleason. Lucic then stuffed the rebound into the net.
Notes: Carolina improved to 2-1 in overtime in the playoffs. ... Boston fell to 3-1 in the post-season when scoring first. ... Carolina D Frantisek Kaberle was a healthy scratch, while the Bruins scratched D Shane Hnidy and RW Byron Bitz. ... NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was in attendance, and was cheered by the crowd. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, a Raleigh native and former N.C. State linebacker, sounded the siren that announces the Hurricanes' pre-game entrance to the ice.
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