Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game Five Keys to the Game

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By: Joe Travia | Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NHLJoeTravia

After going down two games to zero on the road, the Boston Bruins stormed back to even the series up at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Tonight, they head back to Raleigh, looking to take a 3-2 series lead and give themselves a chance to win the series at home Thursday night. Here are my keys to the game:

Defense Needs To Step Up Again

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It is no secret that the Bruins are currently depleted on defense. With Charlie McAvoy in the COVID protocol and Hampus Lindholm still on the shelf following a brutal hit by Andrei Svechnikov, the Bruins will be rolling the same six defensemen from game four. While a Grzelcyk-Carlo/Forbort-Clifton/Reilly-Brown collective is certainly not what the Bruins envisioned heading into this playoffs, they stepped up and played well on Sunday. The Hurricanes had loads of success in games one and two by wearing the Bruins defenders out on the forecheck, so it is imperative that they win battles for loose pucks and get it out of the zone. The more time they spend defending, the worse it will be.

Sway Needs To Be The Way

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Linus Ullmark certainly wasn’t terrible in games one and two. He wasn’t great either, but he was hardly at fault for those losses. Jeremy Swayman, on the other hand, has been much more solid. He has made some huge stops, and the team seems more comfortable with him between the pipes. Behind a depleted D corps and in a hostile playoff environment for the first time, the Bruins need Swayman to steal one. He is more than capable.

Star Forwards Need To Produce

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Outside of two Patrice Bergeron goals in game two, the Bruins top offensive players were essentially nowhere to be found during the two games in Raleigh. With David Pastrnak being moved to the top unit as of game three, it is critical that they continue to produce. Depth scoring will be much harder to come by with the top line loaded up. The Bruins need the “Perfection Line” to continue to be, well, perfect.

Capitalize On Early Chances

Games one and two followed a similar blueprint. The Bruins came out of the gate hot and carried most of the play but could not bury any chances. The Hurricanes were able to capitalize on one of their limited opportunities, and the Bruins were shell-shocked. The Hurricanes made it 2-0 within minutes during both games, and the Bruins couldn’t climb out of either hole. They may only show up for playoffs, but the crowd in Raleigh is raucous. The Bruins need to score early and take them out of it.

The Bruins take on the Hurricanes at 7pm. Keep it locked on Black n’ Gold Hockey for all your coverage needs.


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