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Bruins Get Little Love From Referees In Opening Period Of Eastern Conference Final Vs. Hurricanes

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Black and Gold and the men in black and white stripes did not get off to the most agreeable start in this year's Eastern Conference Final.

That rocky relationship began on the very first shift of the game, when a full-speed Torey Krug took a bump in the leg from Warren Foegele. The nudge sent Krug crashing into the end boards, leaving him down on the ice in pain for several seconds.

While the contact away from the puck may or may not have warranted a penalty call, Krug sure thought it did. he made sure to inform the referee of that opinion.

The Bruins ended up scoring a goal a few minutes later, getting the home crowd worked up and rewarding the Bruins for controlling the pace of play early on.

That shifted dramatically, though, when referee Dan O'Rourke sent Sean Kuraly to the penalty box just 44 seconds after Steve Kampfer had scored for Boston. The penalty call was for roughing, after Kuraly and Brock McGinn engaged in a mostly standard post-whistle shoving match near the Boston bench.

That the shoving occurred after McGinn had delivered a check to Kuraly's jaw made the penalty call all the more puzzling.

The shove might technically have been a punch, but the level of impact was standard fare for post-whistle extracurriculars. McGinn's head did snap back, which was what likely prompted the arm of O'Rourke to go up, and as the old saying goes, it's always the player who retaliates who ends up getting sent to the box.

Sports being what they are, Carolina of course scored on the power play exactly 3 seconds later.

With the score knotted at one goal apiece, the Bruins and Hurricanes played fairly evenly for the remainder of the period. That was a stretch that may have included a questionable penalty call on Bruins center Charlie Coyle.

Coyle mishandled a bounding puck at the offensive blue line, chased it down through the neutral zone, and lost positioning on Teuvo Teravainen. Coyle made a stick-check on Teravainen, who hit the deck in the middle of the ice. Referee Marc Joannette's hand immediately went in the air, and Coyle went to the box for hooking.

The Bruins' official Twitter account appeared to have taken issue with the call.

The Bruins killed that penalty, and then ended up getting a power play of their own on a Nino Niederreiter slash. The Bruins' official Twitter account, perhaps feeling a bit crispy on this night, responded with some additional sauce:

The slashing call on Niederreiter helped tip the scales somewhat back toward even, but in a sport environment where everybody gets judged, it's fair to say the refs got off to a shaky start in this series.

UPDATE: As a wise man once said, "sports being what they are," a similar penalty to Kuraly's was assessed to Dougie Hamilton in the third period. The Bruins would score the game-winning goal on the ensuing power play. And now it is the Hurricanes who are unhappy with the officiating. Things can change quickly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.


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