It's been a long, frustrating season for the Boston Bruins and their fans, but this afternoon in their next-to-last game of the regular season, there was much to be excited about.
With 18 seconds remaining in a first period that saw 32 shots combined, the Carolina Hurricanes went on the power play. Little did Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick(notes) know, his hooking penalty would end up being the most critical part of Boston's 4-2 win over Carolina. Heading into the game against the Hurricanes, the Bruins were 29th in the NHL in shorthanded goals with three. In a 64 second span, they not only jumped to 19th by doubling their season total, but also made history in the process scoring three times on the same penalty kill.
From NHL.com, here's the entire sequence:
Carolina didn't roll over and die after that as they scored twice towards the end of the second period to cut the Bruins' lead to one. In the end, Milan Lucic's(notes) empty-netter with a minute remaining would seal things and clinch a playoff berth for Boston.
The goals by Daniel Paille(notes), Blake Wheeler(notes) and Steve Begin(notes) demolished the previous record set by the Winnipeg Jets who did so in 4:44 during the 1994-95 season against the Vancouver Canucks. It was also the first time in NHL history three shorties had been scored on the same penalty kill.
Boston's victory also assures them of finishing at least seventh in the Eastern Conference. They currently sit sixth and can stay there if Toronto wins tonight against Montreal or they earn a point tomorrow afternoon against Washington.