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Bergeron Scores OT Winner, Bruins Win Game 1 4-3

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Patrice Bergeron took a beautiful feed from David Pastrnak and scored 1:13 into the second overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win in Game 1 and a 1-0 series lead in their first round series with the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

Just after another failed powerplay expired for the Bruins, the Bruins broke through the neutral zone with numbers and Pastrnak fed Bergeron with a backhander through his legs that the Bruins center sniped by Hurricanes goalie Peter Mrazek. Both Bergeron and Pastrnak finished with a goal and an assist.

Tuukka Rask made 25 saves for the Bruins and Mrazek stopped 36 shots for the Hurricanes.

Since it’s 2020, it was only right that the earliest Stanley Cup playoff game ever and the game that was postponed because of the Tampa Bay Lightning needing five overtimes to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2, went to overtime as well. Before it got there though, Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle, and David Krejci scored for the Bruins and defensemen Joel Edmundson and Haydn Fleury, as well as forward Brock McGinn, lit the lamp for the Hurricanes.

After a dismal round-robin performance, that the Bruins shrugged off as shaking off the cobwebs in the preseason, the Bruins came out much sharper in Game 1. They were fast, tenacious, and paying attention to detail as they predicted they would do leading into this game. Then, just like in their last two round-robin games they appeared to stop all of that halfway through the opening frame and the speedy Hurricanes pounced. Capitalizing on some loosey-goosey neutral zone coverage by the Bruins, the Hurricanes drew first blood on Edmundson’s goal 13:02 into the first period. Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho got the helpers.

The Bruins woke up late in the period and at 17:45, Pastrnak finished off a beautifully designed play off another Patrice Bergeron faceoff win. Brad Marchand took the feed from Bergeron off the dot and as Marchand was doing that, Pastrnak crossed in front of the net to the bottom of the opposite faceoff circle and buried it past Mrazek for his first of the playoffs. 

The Bruins came out flying again in the second period but were slowed by a lazy Ondrej Kase holding penalty. They were able to kill that Hurricanes powerplay off and just under a minute later, the Bruins grabbed their first lead of the NHL Return (round-robin and exhibition). After some chaos in front of Mrazek, the Hurricanes goalie couldn’t trap a bouncing puck in front and it popped loose to a waiting Coyle, who buried it top shelf into the empty net for a 2-1 Bruins lead at 4:38. Anders Bjork got his first career playoff point with the primary assist and Nick Ritchie grabbed the secondary. 

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

The Hurricanes actually challenged the goal claiming that Mrazek had control and the whistle should’ve been blown but it was ruled a good goal and as a result of the bad challenge, the Bruins went on the powerplay. The ticked off Hurricanes channeled their emotions and immediately answered the Bruins’ strike with a shorthanded goal by McGinn at 4:59 to tie the game at two apiece.

The Bruins settled things down and played better as the period went on. That momentum carried into the third period and Krejci gave his team the lead again 59 ticks into the final frame as he buried the rebound of a Kase shot. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy notched the other helper.

The Bruins fourth line of Joakim Nordstrom-Sean Kuraly-Chris Wagner did a splendid job of stemming the immediate pushback by the Hurricanes following the Krejci tally and then helped the Bruins kill off a Jeremy Lauzon holding penalty at 5:12. Whether it was fatigue or not, the Bruins let up just a little bit and the Hurricanes made them pay again as Fleury tied the game at three at 9:49. Vincent Trocheck got the lone assist and the Bruins had blown their second lead of the game.

After being out-shot 12-7 in the third period, the Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 11-6 in the first overtime. They were given hat could be argued as a phantom call when Coyle got tangled up with Hurricanes defensemen Brady Skjei and Skjei went off for holding. As was the case to that point though, the Bruins powerplay couldn’t get anything going and the two teams headed to a second overtime.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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