(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gary Broome)
By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Home: Carolina Hurricanes
Away: Boston Bruins
Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen
Nordstrom – Krejci – Pastrnak
Donato – Cave – Backes
Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Moore – Kampfer
Svechnikov – Aho – Teravainen
Ferland – Bishop – Williams
Foegele – Wallmark – Martinook
Kuokannen – Rask – McGinn
Slavin – Pesce
de Haan – Faulk
van Riemsdyk – Hamilton
The Bruins came into Whalers night as winners of their last three games. Partly thanks to Charlie McAvoy’s recent resurgence since returning from injury, and Patrice Bergeron’s four-point effort yesterday against Nashville.
In previous back-to-backs this season, the Bruins are 6-0-1. Just around a minute and a half in, Carolina went to the penalty kill as Micheal Ferland went off for high-sticking. Boston’s power play struck in the form of Ryan Donato sending a shot off of Petr Mrazek, a Carolina defender and in to give the Bruins an early lead. The goal marked Donato’s fourth of the season, assisted by Torey Krug (18), and Brad Marchand (28).
Around four minutes after Carolina went on the penalty kill, the Bruins did the same as Steven Kampfer went to the box for holding. Noel Acciari made it a 5-on-3 advantage when he high-sticked Sebastian Aho, giving Carolina a great opportunity to tie the game in due time.
Speaking of Steven Kampfer, he made up for his penalty pretty quickly. Sean Kuraly found him open from behind the net, and Kampfer made no mistake in burying it to make it 2-0 Bruins less than halfway through the first. The goal marked Kampfer’s second of the season and Sean Kuraly’s sixth assist.
The Canes cut the lead to one after Teuvo Teravainen sent a flimsy shot on net that bounced off of McAvoy and in. The obscurity of the bounce clearly threw of Tuukka Rask and made things interesting with plenty of time left.
Despite being behind on the scoreboard, the Canes outshot the Bruins 13-11 and certainly didn’t have a bad period overall. The game was still very much up for grabs heading into the second period and beyond.
Score: 2-1 Boston
The Canes didn’t take long to capitalize in the second period, as Aho found himself wide open in front of Rask and snuck on through the five-hole and in to tie things up at two.
Trevor van Riemsdyk of all people sprung loose for a breakaway that was stifled by John Moore to keep the game tied. It was a fairly sloppy start to the period at times for the Bruins in terms of the flow of play and connecting passes.
On the topic of sloppy play, McAvoy was muscled off the puck by Aho who eventually found the puck back on his stick for a one-timer past Rask to strip the Bruins of their lead. If McAvoy moves the puck quicker, that play doesn’t happen, the mental mistake ended up costing the Bruins here. It was 3-0 Carolina with 12:36 to go in the period thanks to Aho’s second goal of the period.
Things didn’t get any better after that as Justin Faulk sent a wrist shot into traffic and past Rask to give Carolina a two-goal lead in a period that they had solid control of. Four unanswered goals are something that you never want to see unless you’re the team doing it. Aho nearly made it a natural hat-trick as he streaked down his off-wing and sent a shot on net that fooled Rask but somehow stayed out of the net. Brass Bonanza was playing a whole lot.
Rask prevented further disaster with a huge save on Lucas Wallmark, followed by another on a scrum out front. It was a really ugly period for the Bruins. Ryan Donato helped stop the bleeding a bit when he sniped one in the top left corner past Mrazek. 4-3 Canes late in the period thanks to Donato’s fifth goal of the season and second of the game, and Colby Cave’s fourth assist.
McAvoy made a huge play on Clark Bishop late, keeping the losing margin at one, Although they were outshot heavily through two, 16-7 in the period, 29-18 overall, the Bruins managed to keep this one close heading into the final frame.
Score: 4-3 Carolina
The effort level took a step up to start the period for the Bruins, Joakim Nordstrom and Donato had two pretty nice chances to test Mrazek. Ferland eventually took a penalty, giving the Bruins a chance to capitalize on their momentum and even things up on the power play. The shots were 4-0 Bruins through the first until Rask fumbled the puck behind the net, making the initial save on Aho, but not on Teravainen. 5-3 Carolina. The Svechnikov-Aho-Teravainen line had a field day.
Ryan Donato nearly made it three on a late wraparound attempt, Mrazek was solid in the third. A too many men penalty with just around five and a half minutes left helped in axing any chance the Bruins had to win when it was all said and done. But things were interesting late, as Rask was pulled with 2:40 to go, right as Andrei Svechnikov took a boarding penalty. A 6-on-4 was on the table late for the Bruins. Nordstrom made a save on the empty net, so there’s that. With 36.5 seconds left, Bruce Cassidy took a timeout. But there just wasn’t enough in the final frame to come out with the win. The loss marked the Bruins’ first regulation loss against Carolina since April 13, 2013.
After a rough start, Carolina took control of this one for much of the game. The shots were 12-8 Bruins in the third, and 37-30 Canes overall. Next up are the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at TD Garden at 7:00 PM ET.
Final Score: 5-3 Carolina
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