3 Keys: Hurricanes vs. Bruins, Game 2 of Eastern First Round

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No. 5 Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Bruins

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN, FS-CR

Boston leads the best-of-7 series, 1-0

The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes will look to quickly adjust for the second half of an unexpected back-to-back in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday. 

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron scored 1:13 into the second overtime for a 4-3 win in Game 1, which was rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. The game was initially set for 8 p.m. ET Tuesday but postponed when Game 1 of a first-round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets went into a fifth overtime in Toronto, the Eastern hub city, earlier that day.

Hurricanes forward Justin Williams and defenseman Sami Vatanen are game-time decisions after being ruled unfit to play Game 1. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information. 

Carolina has lost five straight games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Boston, including a four-game sweep in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, when it was outscored 17-5. 

Here are 3 keys for Game 2:

 

1. Bruins first line trending upward

David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Bergeron combined for six points (two goals, four assists) in Game 1. Pastrnak and Bergeron each had one goal and one assist for Boston; Marchand had two assists.

In three round-robin games during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, those three were held to one assist from Bergeron against the Lightning on Aug. 5. The Bruins scored four goals in three losses to the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Lightning. 

With the top line clicking, Boston matched that four-goal total Wednesday. 

“We’re confident,” Bergeron said. “We had to put whatever was behind us in the past.”

 

2. Who starts against Rask?

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour and Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy each said they could use two goalies during the series. That was before Game 1 went into a second overtime one day before Game 2.

It’s possible the Hurricanes turn to James Reimer, but they haven’t ruled out sticking with Mrazek, who made 36 saves in 81:13 of Game 1.

“I thought Petr was good,” Brind’Amour said. “He kept us in there. … He’s definitely a possibility because he’s been dialed in.” 

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask will start again after making 25 saves in 80:52.  

“He felt fine,” Cassidy said. “Was there a lot of wear and tear to the point where recovery would require more than 24 hours or 30 hours? I don’t think so.”

 

3. Fixing the power play

The Hurricanes are 2-for-17 on the man-advantage in the postseason and didn’t score on each of their three chances Wednesday.

The Bruins have failed to score on their 13 power plays. They were 0-for-4 in Game 1 and allowed Brock McGinn to score shorthanded at 4:59 of the second period. 

“We’ll move past it and try to make the necessary adjustments,” Cassidy said. “We’re behind on the power play. We’re going to have to simplify it.”

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Andrei SvechnikovSebastian AhoTeuvo Teravainen

Ryan DzingelVincent TrocheckMartin Necas

Warren FoegeleJordan Staal — Brock McGinn

Nino NiederreiterMorgan GeekieJordan Martinook

Jaccob SlavinDougie Hamilton

Brady SkjeiJoel Edmundson

Jake GardinerHaydn Fleury

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: Trevor van Riemsdyk, Clark Bishop, Steven Lorentz, Max McCormick, Jake Bean, Roland McKeown, Anton Forsberg, Alex Nedeljkovic

Unfit to play: Brett Pesce, Justin Williams, Sami Vatanen

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak

Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciOndrej Kase

Nick RitchieCharlie CoyleAnders Bjork

Joakim NordstromSean KuralyChris Wagner

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykJeremy Lauzon

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka, Par Lindholm, Zach Senyshyn, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Maxime Lagace, Dan Vladar, Karson Kuhlman, Connor Clifton

Unfit to play: None

 

Status report

Cassidy said the Bruins’ lineup would remain the same if everyone is healthy.

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