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Bruins, Ducks force Game 7s

THE Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks forced deciding Game 7s in their NHL conference semifinals with pulsating victories on Tuesday.

The visiting Bruins recorded a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh before the Ducks edged the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Anaheim.

The deciding games will be in Detroit and Boston today.

The Detroit-Anaheim winner will take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals with the winner of Boston-Carolina playing the winner of Game 7 at Washington between the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chicago eliminated the Vancouver Canucks in six games in their best-of-seven Western semifinal.

In Raleigh, the top-seeded Bruins won their second successive game against the Hurricanes after being on the brink of elimination when trailing 1-3 earlier in the series.

"Getting to Game 7 is one thing," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

"Now we need to decide what we're going to do with it."

Boston slotted two goals past Carolina netminder Cam Ward in the first five minutes and added two more in the second for a 4-1 advantage.

Netminder Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots, including 13 in the third period, for the victory.

"Goaltending is such a team dependent position and over the past two games we've really stepped up our games," Thomas said. "(But) I had to hold up my end of the bargain more tonight than the last game at home."

Mark Recchi and Steve Montador opened the Bruins' scoring, Recchi tallying after 2:01 and Montador finding net three minutes later.

The Hurricanes, who had taken just one shot by the time Montador scored, pulled one goal back on Matt Cullen's score early in the second.

"We thought at 2-1 we were there," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "We just didn't move the puck the way I think we're going to need to."

Boston's Marc Savard restored the two-goal advantage 8:53 into the period and Chuck Kobasew made it 4-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the period. Savard left with a knee injury after a collision with Carolina's Chad LaRose, but is expected to be available today.

In Anaheim, Jonas Hiller made 38 saves, while Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist on Corey Perry's tally for Anaheim in the second period to keep the Ducks' hopes alive.

Hiller, who made 17 saves in the third period, lost his shutout with less than three minutes to play when Johan Franzen deflected in a shot on a power play. "I think everybody knew what today's game was about," Hiller said. "We had to win and we had to show a better effort than the last two games. That is what we did and why we won."


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