The Hurricanes and Bruins have had a series for the ages that will now culminate in a game 7. Each game has been won on home ice so far in this series, a fact that benefits the Hurricanes. Another stat that benefits the Hurricanes? The franchise is 5-0 in game 7’s since moving to Raleigh.
As we anxiously await the Bruins and Hurricanes game 7 contest on Saturday, let’s go through the illustrious history of the five prior game 7s in this franchise’s history.
2006 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 vs The Buffalo Sabres
It took Doug Weight just a minute and a half to tie the game in the third period. After defenseman Brian Campbell took a delay of game penalty by clearing the puck over the glass, captain Rod Brind’amour took the lead for the Canes off of a feed from Justin Williams.
An empty netter from Justin Williams secured the 4-2 victory for the Hurricanes and the end of a grueling series. The Canes clinched their second Prince of Wales trophy in the last four seasons and yet another berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
2006 Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 vs The Edmonton Oilers
The single most important game in Carolina Hurricanes history took place in the confines of a game 7. The underdog Oilers fought hard to take it to a game 7, but the Hurricanes humbled them in the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Hurricanes scored two early and were able to withstand Edmonton’s push. Justin Williams’ empty-net goal is to put the nail in the Oilers’ coffin. There is no doubt that this is the best game 7 moment in Hurricanes’ history as it marks the franchise’s only championship victory.
2009 Conference Quarterfinals Game 7 vs The New Jersey Devils
The Devils had a 3-2 lead with just a minute and a half left in the game until the hero of the series Jussi Jokinen tied the game with just 1:21 remaining. While many were more than happy with just forcing overtime, that was until the magic happened.
Star center Eric Staal came streaking down the wing and sniped one past Martin Brodeur with just 31 seconds left in the game. It was one of the most impressive collapses in NHL history on one side and a miraculous comeback on the other.
2009 Conference Semifinals Game 7 vs The Boston Bruins
The 2009 Hurricanes felt like a team of destiny with how exciting their two series wins ended. Their series against the Bruins was no different. One of the major storylines of this series was Scott Walker playing the role of the villain.
In-game 5 Scott Walker sucker-punched Bruin (and former Cane) Aaron Ward right in the face. Admittedly it was a really bad look as Ward didn’t even get a chance to drop his gloves. Sucker punches are always unnecessary but especially in the dying minutes of a game, the Hurricanes had no chance of winning.
Walker faced no suspension somehow and was able to continue playing in the series. The two teams battled hard in game 7, where Milan Lucic was able to tie the contest with less than 5 minutes to go in the game.
Scott Walker was able to scoop up a rebound in overtime to stab a knife into the heart of Boston, because of course it was him. That was Walker’s only goal in his playoff career, and what a time to pot your first and only. This years’ Hurricanes squad needs to take note.
2019 Conference Quarterfinals Game 7 vs The Washington Capitals
A decade after that incredibly fun 2009 run and the Hurricanes were unable to make the playoffs again until 2019. It was an uphill battle for the underdog Canes, whose first-round opponent was none other than the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
After losing the first two games in DC the Hurricanes won 3 of the last 4 games to force a game 7 in the nation’s capital. During the series, the team with home-ice advantage went 6-0, and this game looked to be no different as the Capitals got out to a quick 2-0 lead.
Aho’s shorthanded goal was quickly answered by Kuznetsov to bring the Capitals’ lead to 3-1. Teravainen scored late in the second period to not only bring the Canes within 1, but also shifted momentum in the opposing team’s favor.
The Hurricanes came out swinging in the first period and it took Jordan Staal just 3 minutes to tie the game. In a goal eerily similar to his brother’s game 7 winner in 2009, he came skating down the wing and sniped it top corner past Holtby.
The story of the game was Brock McGinn. After saving the game late in the third, Brock famously redirected a Justin Williams shot in double overtime to send the 2018 Cup champs packing. This is the goal that made the Hurricanes relevant again and is one of the most important goals in Hurricanes history.
Game 7s are incredibly stressful and exciting, and I don’t think Saturday’s contest will be any different. These teams do not like each other, and throughout this series, we have seen one team completely take over each game. History favors the Hurricanes, and it is up to the 2022 Canes to continue the franchise’s spotless game 7 record.