Mark Recchi and the Boston Bruins instead moved closer to giving the Carolina Hurricanes a different kind of knockout punch.
Recchi had a goal and an assist, and the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference semifinals and force a decisive Game 7.
Marc Savard scored before leaving in the third period with an apparent leg injury. Steve Montador and Chuck Kobasew also connected, Patrice Bergeron had two assists and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots in his second straight victory.
The NHL's top remaining seed led 2-0 barely 5 minutes in and made it stand to win its second straight since falling behind 3-1 in the series. Its reward: A trip back to Boston for Thursday night's Game 7, their first at home since losing in the first round to Montreal in 2004.
And there wasn't even any need to retaliate for what they considered a sucker punch thrown by Carolina's Scott Walker near the end of Game 5.
Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov scored for the Hurricanes. Their first losing streak of the playoffs has put them in danger of blowing a 3-1 series lead for the first time in franchise history.
Then again, Game 7s are nothing new for Carolina. Each of the Hurricanes' previous three playoff series dating to the 2006 Stanley Cup run also went the full seven games, and they won all three.
Cam Ward stopped 15 shots and allowed four goals for the second straight game. In four previous starts after a loss, he was 4-0 and had allowed a total of four goals.
The series between one-time New England rivals received a jolt of bad blood two nights earlier, when Walker dropped Aaron Ward with a right cross that led to the NHL fining the Hurricanes forward $2,500, but no suspension. The injury didn't cost Ward any playing time either; he logged about 20 minutes while playing with a shiner around his left eye. But the Bruins promised to never forget what they felt was a cheap shot.
For now, though, they were content to do their talking between the whistles.
Boston had two goals before the Hurricanes registered their second shot on net. Patrice Bergeron set up the first goal by dumping the puck to Recchi, who tapped it in for his 50th career playoff goal and third of the series. Montador then made it a two-goal game with a slap shot from behind the left circle.
Cullen scored the Hurricanes' first goal since Game 4 when he flipped a backhander over an outstretched Thomas nearly 3 minutes into the second period. But Savard restored the Bruins' two-goal advantage roughly 6 minutes later with a one-timer that clipped the near post and went in for his fourth goal of the series.
Notes:@ Savard has points in four straight games. ... Carolina LW Ryan Bayda was back after missing two games with the flu. ... Recchi skated in his 150th career playoff game. ... The Hurricanes' four-game winning streak at home was snapped.