Canes forward Jussi Jokinen says he has no doubt as to how the Bruins, trailing 2-1 in the series, will play tonight.
"Obviously it's a huge game for both teams," he said today after the morning skate. "They have lost two in a row, and when's the last time they lost two in a row?
"I'm sure they're angry. They're going to be ready. It's going to be a war."
But Canes coach Paul Maurice isn't so sure of how Game 4 will begin or unfold. Each playoff game, he said, takes on a life of its own, with so much unpredictability, regardless of any pregame motivation by either team.
"I think in our games, and in all the games I've watched, it almost doesn't matter because the game's going to change, momentum's going to shift," he said. "If they come out real hard or we come out real hard, then the other team just has to survive and wait until their momentum shift comes.
"I think sometimes we look back at the score and the shot clock and say, 'OK, this team controlled the game.' Maybe it's the seat I have but it never feels like that. Every rush is dangerous, every shot on goal is a potential shift in momentum.
"So they're going to come out as hard as they possibly can and so are we, and momentum is going to change over and over again over the course of this game."
The Canes were 4-3 overtime winners in Game 3, outshoting the Bruins 41-23. It's the kind of effort, the Canes' Eric Staal said, that will be needed again.
"We talked after Game 1 about eliminating their chances in transition, because that's where their strength is," he said. "I think we've done a good job of that, of doing the simple things, getting the pucks deep, working their defense.
"We feel good about our game. By no means are we done. They're a very, very good team and they've had a great year. It's a huge game tonight. We're in our building and we want to take advantage of that.
"We can't take a breath at all. We know if we do, we'll be caught behind the 8-ball pretty quick. We've got to stay on the gas and have a big one tonight."