Sometimes it's just not your series. Sometimes you just go into a buzzaw or maybe a brick wall. Carolina Hurricanes, now down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference final, may not particularly care about which of the two cases are more applicable here, but it really is a Venn chart and in the center is Tuukka Quick.  Canes played two of his worst games in the season to open this series. Two hundreds. Perhaps it was nerves, or inflicted nerves caused by Boston's dominant game and complete confidence, or just straight luck, or a more gifted law that imposed its will less than in every 120-minute or all of them. Anyway, the hurricanes were desperately forced to play desperately in Game 3. They did first.
Carolina opened with perhaps his only best period of hockey all year round. They swarmed like hornets and rained pucks on targets like hellfire. They outskated, outmuscled and outsmarted their Bruins counterparts throughout. They got four power games, including a 5-on-3 for 46 seconds. They had 12 shots on their power playing alone, apparently all good, high-quality images. They had 33 shots in the first and 20 shots online.
They had, depending on your metric preference, either 2.49 or 2.75 expected goals during the first period.
They had zero real goals.  "That's more of the way we wanted to play," said Justin Williams. "Of course it didn't go in for us. It stinks. But sometimes it happens." "It happens" is pointed passively to what exactly happened: Tuukka Rask stopped everything.
Canes finally got Fast in the other, but at that time Bruins had points twice and would not lose that lead. Fast had 35 saves at night, and the 2-1 win gives Boston a 3-0 series lead that feels insurmountable as these things get, even in the sport where 0-3 comebacks are somewhat less impossible.
Fast has been dominant in this series, and easily the league's best goalkeeper in the playoffs. Through 16 games -11 wins and six consecutive wins-he sports a .939 save percent and allows under two goals per game. It's his best spring since he led the Bruins to the Cup six years ago, and Rask says all his postseason miles are paying off. "It's the experience. Once you've played in the playoffs for many years, you'll see all the scenarios that can happen out there."
So the canes still stymied by a problem they quickly expire to resolve. And they don't seem closer now than they were last week. Justin Faulk was asked what makes Rask so hard to score. "If I knew," he said, "I would have more goals for him."