Hurricanes Advance On Habs Meltdown
Archived from 2001-02 season.
Rookie Erik Cole scored twice as the Carolina Hurricanes crushed the Montreal Canadiens with five first-period goals on their way to a 8-2 victory to win the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"We said that we wanted to come out and try to get the momentum right away and take the crowd out of the game, but we never expected it to be like that," Cole said. "It's just what's been going on the last couple of games, where we're fortunate to get the bounces."
Carolina advanced to the conference finals for the first time in the franchise history.
"I think we've taken steps every year," said Carolina captain Ron Francis. "This year we've taken some big steps, there's no question. This is the best and deepest team we've had."
The Canadiens never recovered from the devastating loss in Game 4, when they blew a 3-0 lead in the third period and lost the game in overtime.
"It's just too bad because this team has battled all year," said Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who sat out all but three games of the regular season while battling stomach cancer but scored 10 points in the playoffs. "We're all disappointed, we hate to lose. But these last two games didn't show what we were all about this year. Everybody said we wouldn't even make the playoffs."