By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Through two games in Carolina, things haven't looked too great for the Bruins. The outlook isn't any prettier. At least, not if history is the guide.
Obviously, taking a 2-0 series lead is rather advantageous for the team leading, but the extent to which that has proven to be a death sentence for the losing team may surprise you.
In the history of every seven-game series in the NHL, when the home team wins the first two games to take a 2-0 lead, that team has gone on to win the series 88.7 percent of the time. Some amateur mathematics would indicate that historical results currently give the Bruins an 11.3 percent chance of winning this series.
However, quite a bit obviously hinges on Friday night's Game 3. When the team leading 2-0 wins Game 3 on the road, that team has won the series 97.9 percent of the time. They are 141-3 in those scenarios, and a Game 7 has only been forced six times. For that matter, a Game 6 has only been forced eight times. By contrast, the series has wrapped up in a sweep 90 times.
Yet when the home team fights back with a Game 3 win to cut the series lead to 2-1, that team has won 20.9 percent of the time.
Going from a 2.1 percent chance to a 20.9 percent chance is what's at stake for the Bruins on Friday night. The phrase "must-win" gets thrown around in sports quite often, but this would seem to be the proper forum for such a term to arise.
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