RALEIGH — Scoreless in his first nine postseason games this playoff season, Carolina winger Sergei Samsonov said all along he was trying to not think about the statistics and just stay within his approach and his team’s game plan.
That philosophy paid off with an outstanding two-way performance in Game 3, which featured him recording a big goal and then an assist on the overtime game-winner by Jussi Jokinen.
“Don’t start cheating where you might get an opportunity,” he said about his defense-first thought process, which he’ll try to continue in tonight’s Game 4 of the Hurricanes’ Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Boston Bruins. “I think a team concept is more important right now instead of personal statistics.”
As for the instant chemistry he showed when put on a line with Jokinen (and Tuomo Ruutu) for the first time this series, Samsonov said a little bit of experience went a long way.
“We played a few games during the regular season, so we had some experience. And when we played (together), we played well. So maybe there’s something there,” said the winger.
•Center Eric Staal, now with three points in two games after a pointless Game 1, pretty much spoke for all the Hurricanes players when asked about his team’s confidence level for tonight.
“We feel good about our game. By no means are we done. They’re a very good team, they’ve had a great year and this is a huge game for us tonight,” said Staal. “We know that, we’re in our building, we want to take advantage of that and we can’t take a breath at all because if we do we’ll be caught behind the eight ball pretty quick. So we’ve got to stay on the gas and have a big one tonight.”