RALEIGH — The 1-on-1 battle within the Boston-Carolina war between Norris Trophy finalist Zdeno Chara and All-Star center Eric Staal was being waged at a fever pitch in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at RBC Center, as the teams started the third period tied 1-1.
In the last period’s opening 65 second second, Staal chased a puck toward the side wall in the Boston zone and Chara chased after him. All of a sudden the referee’s arm went up and when the Bruins touched the puck Chara went to the box. It was a call that could only be described as marginal.
Just 1:45 later, the Hurricanes crushed the Bruins’ hopes of evening the series at 2 with a power-play goal by Jussi Jokinen.
“Honestly, I went after the puck and the referee all of a sudden called a penalty. So you can’t change it now,” said a surprised Chara.
Head coach Claude Julien didn’t want to harp on the call because of the larger factors that have put his team down 3-1 in the series. But he did admit he was less than pleased with some of the whistles.
“I agree 100 percent (with Chara),” said Julien. “Those are things we can’t really get into because first of all, it really … part of it doesn’t matter because it’s more than that call. It’s more about our team than anything else and we have to own up to that. But certainly there’s a lot of things out there that were let go and certain things that I thought they were a little hard on us tonight. But you normally think like that when you’re not getting the breaks.”
Boston is not getting the breaks and not getting the W’s. The Bruins are going to have to make their own breaks if they’re going to survive past Sunday’s Game 5.