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Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2, OT

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GREENSBORO — Ray Sheppard is noted for having a nose for the goal. The 12-year veteran stuck it in there when it counted the most for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Sheppard scored off a wild scramble with 2:55 left in overtime as the Hurricanes rallied past the Boston Bruins 3-2 to tie their Eastern Conference series 1-1.

``I've seen him do it 100 times. He's money in the bank,'' said Carolina captain Keith Primeau, who also played on a line with Sheppard when the two were in Detroit in the mid '90s. ``He has just got that ability to get himself in a spot to score big goals.''

Defenseman Steve Chiasson held the puck in at the blue line along the boards to set up the game-winning goal, moving to the center of the ice for a slap shot that Byron Dafoe stopped.

But Dafoe gave up the rebound in a crowd. Martin Gelinas banged the first chance off the left post before it came right to Sheppard, who got his second goal of the game for the Carolina win.

``When I get in there (close) I just look for the puck, I don't look for anything else,'' said Sheppard. who scored his 26th and 27th career playoff goals. ``Most guys get a little radar going to see where the puck is going and hopefully get a piece of it.''

Dafoe said he got caught in some traffic on Carolina's winning goal.

``I was just trying to get back because I was so far out making the original save,'' Dafoe said.

The Hurricanes overcame the loss of Ron Francis, who missed the game with a sprained ankle suffered in the series opener.

``With a guy like Ronnie out, you hope they respond,'' said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. ``We played 82 games with Ron and then when you play one without him, you get a little nervous.''

Carolina also had to play with only four defensemen from the second period on after losing Marek Malik to a thigh bruise and Nolan Pratt to a groin strain.

``Full marks to our guys on the back end,'' Primeau said of the team's four weary defensemen. ``During the regular season that's even such an uphill battle for four guys, and for them to do that in a playoff game and in an extra full period of overtime, they were awesome for us.''

Chiasson and Glen Wesley each skated more than 36 minutes on defense.

``I said before, you don't get too high off a win and you don't get too low off a loss in the playoffs,'' said Boston coach Pat Burns. ``They came out and played us just as hard. We had them 2-1 but we made a couple of turnovers and they were able to respond.

``They battled us hard and we couldn't find a way - no excuses.''

The score was tied 1-1 heading into the third period, and similar to Game 1, Boston appeared to have control of the defensive struggle when Steve Heinze scored with 11:28 left.

Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe, who stopped the original spot by Anson Carter in the slot, was unable to control the trickling puck behind him in the crease. A second or two after Carter's shot, Heinze tapped it in for a 2-1 lead.

But Carolina rallied down the stretch, a centering pass from the corner by Bates Battaglia ricochetting off the skate of Robert Kron and through the legs of Dafoe with 5:32 left to send the game into overtime tied at 2.

Kron, subbing for the injured Francis, had his back turned toward Battaglia when the puck hit off his skate.

After a scoreless first period, a great individual effort by Landon Wilson set up Sergei Samsonov's rebound goal early in the second period.

Dafoe, who led the NHL with 10 regular-season shutouts, blanked the Hurricanes 2-0 in Game 1. But he saw his postseason shutout streak snapped at 88-1/2 minutes when Sheppard tied the score 1-1, beating the Boston goalie high on the glove side from the slot.

Paul Coffey, who didn't play in the first game because of a hamstring injury, helped on the goal for his 137th playoff assist - tops all-time in the postseason among defensemen.