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Red Wings on course, Bruins rally

THE Detroit Red Wings pulled within one win of eliminating the Anaheim Ducks while the Boston Bruins found new life with a 4-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL conference semifinals on Sunday.

Hosts Detroit defeated Anaheim 4-1 to grab a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference series. The defending Stanley Cup champion outshot the Ducks 38-17 and can wrap up the series with a victory in Anaheim today.

Boston, needing to win to stay alive in the East, narrowed the series deficit to 2-3 with the win on home ice. Netminder Tim Thomas had 19 saves for his first playoff shutout and Phil Kessel scored twice in the penalty-filled game.

Carolina hosts Game 6 today.

In Detroit, Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead with goals 39 seconds apart in the second period.

The goal was Franzen's 18th in his last 19 post-season games.

"Mule (Franzen's nickname) is one of the best when the game is on the line," Hudler said. "He makes something happen. He's a big guy and he's got a great pair of hands."

After Ryan Whitney tallied for Anaheim on a power play later in the period, the Red Wings scored twice in the third. Darren Helm collected Detroit's third goal and Henrik Zetterberg added an empty-netter in the final minute.

In Boston, the Bruins rebounded from three consecutive losses to the Hurricanes with a dominating performance.

"All year long, whenever we faced adversity, when our backs were against the wall, we responded well," Thomas said.

Mark Recchi's power-play goal and Kessel's wrist shot gave Boston a 2-0 first-period lead. Kessel found net again in the second and Milan Lucic scored in the third as the Bruins peppered Carolina netminder Cam Ward with 40 shots.

"We weren't very quick, which is a really big part of our game," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "I think that affects everything else that we do."

A total of 29 penalties were called in the game - 21 in third period.


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