Revisiting the 1998-99 Carolina Hurricanes

19 Nov 1998: Goalie Arturs Irbe #1 of the Carolina Hurricanes prepares to make a stop during a game against the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport
19 Nov 1998: Goalie Arturs Irbe #1 of the Carolina Hurricanes prepares to make a stop during a game against the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport /
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Carolina Hurricanes winger Gary Roberts
14 Nov 1998: Gary Roberts #10 of the Carolina Hurricanes in action during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The Hurricanes defeated the Kings 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch /Allsport /

Playoffs

Chalk it up to whatever you like, the Carolina Hurricanes qualified for the postseason in 1998-99, destined for a first-round matchup against the Boston Bruins.

Game 1 saw a lackluster effort by the Hurricanes, managing only 19 shots, each of which was turned away by Bruins’ keeper Byron Dafoe.  Future Hurricane Rob DiMaio netted the game-winner early in the 3rd period.  Irbe stopped 27 out of 29 in a losing cause.

  • Boston leads 1-0

Game 2 featured a much stronger game by Carolina as they beat Dafoe 3 times on 30 shots.  Ray Sheppard picked up 2 goals, including the game-winner in overtime.  Martin Gelinas added 2 assists while Irbe turned aside 22 shots in the 3-2 victory.

  • Series tied 1-1

The Hurricanes carried the momentum into Game 3 at the FleetCenter in Boston.  Gary Roberts opened the scoring early in the first period.  Sergei Samsonov, another future Hurricane, tied the game for Boston some 8 minutes later.  The teams traded power-play goals in the 2nd before Robert Kron put away the game-winner 2:54 into the 3rd period.  Irbe was solid again, turning away 24 shots in another 3-2 win.

  • Carolina leads 2-1

Then the wheels started coming off.  Sheppard opened the scoring early in Game 4, picking up his 4th goal of the series.  That was all the Hurricanes would get.  Boston scored 3 unanswered goals while Dafoe refused to yield.  DiMaio sealed the 4-1 Bruins’ victory with an empty netter.

  • Series tied 2-2

Game 5 looked promising for the Hurricanes, back on their adoptive home ice in Greensboro.  Steve Chiasson opened the scoring and Sheppard added his 5th of the playoffs, staking Carolina to a 2-0 lead after 2 periods.

Unfortunately, Boston threw everything they had at the Hurricanes in the 3rd, scoring 3 straight goals in the first 2:26 of the period.  Sami Kapanen tied the game with just under 2 minutes left, sending the teams to overtime for the first time since Game 2.

The first overtime provided action but no deciding goal.  Fatigue was setting in as the two teams prepared for the start of the 2nd overtime period.  With a little over 5 minutes remaining, Anson Carter (yet another future Hurricane) beat Irbe and gave Boston the victory.  Shots favored the Bruins 52-40.

  • Boston leads 3-2

The Hurricanes threw everything they had at Dafoe in Game 6, but the UK-born keeper stopped it all.  Joe Thornton opened the scoring on a first-period power play and Anson Carter added an insurance goal midway through the 2nd, sealing the game and the series.  The Hurricanes had fought and fallen short.

  • Boston wins 4-2

Ray Sheppard led the playoff scoring effort with 5 goals and 1 assist, but he proved to be the only reliable performer.  The 4 other top scorers from the regular season combined for 2 goals and 6 assists in 6 games.  While it was a disappointing end, fans got their first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.