Bruins back home, beat Hurricanes 5-2 to force 7th game

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BOSTON — The Boston Bruins earned themselves a seventh game with another dominating performance at home.

The problem: The clincher will be at Carolina, where the Hurricanes have been just as unbeatable.

“Everybody loves a Game 7,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said after the Bruins won 5-2 on Thursday night to even their first-round playoff series against Carolina at three games apiece. “We’d rather be at home, I’m not going to lie to you.

“But we’d play them on Mars if we had to.”

Jeremy Swayman stopped 23 shots, and Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist for Boston in the sixth straight blowout for the home team. Charlie Coyle also had a goal and an assist for Boston, and Erik Haula and Derek Forbort added third-period goals before Curtis Lazar backhanded the puck into the empty net with 4:17 to play to make it 5-1.

“We’ve got to win, now, one road game. That’s in front of us,” Cassidy said. “We knew that when we started, we’d have to win at least one to advance. So here it is.”

The Hurricanes will host Game 7 on Saturday in Raleigh, where they have gone 3-0 by a combined score of 15-4. The winner will play either the Penguins or Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals; Pittsburgh leads that series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday night.

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