It took a little over four periods, but the Boston Bruins got their first victory in the bubble on Wednesday afternoon. The Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in Game 1 of their First Round Playoff series. Patrice Bergeron scored the winning goal on afilthy play that started with defenseman Brandon Carlo.
The Bruins look to take a stranglehold on the series tonight in Game 2. Puck drop is set for 8:00 pm on NBCSN, NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
BRUINS TOP LINE BREAKS OUT
Bergeron’s game-winning goal was a big moment for a few reasons. First, and most obvious, it won his team the game. Secondly, it represented a breakout for a line that was largely ineffective and quiet during the round-robin portion of the playoffs.
“Relief is not the right word in my estimation. These guys are battle-tested,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Certainly Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Marchy [Brad Marchand]. Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been through it – not as much as those guys. We’ve got a lot of trust in those guys. We have discussions. Where is your game at? And don’t forget that Pasta missed what a lot of teams when through – the training camp. Even though they’ve played together for a long time, it’s been four months and change. Now you’re coming into a part of the season that is high stakes.
We knew there would be a little bit of – I don’t know if rust is the right word. We would take some time for them to make some little plays. And overtime is them. The faceoff play was them. They missed a little bit of that in the round-robin. Tonight, they know that there is a little more at stake as well. Put those two things together, those two factors together and we knew they’d be there and competing. And competing at a high level. And when they do that, they’re so talented and smart that they know things are going to happen for them and they did.”
THIRD LINE BEGINNING TO FORM
Charlie Coyle centered the Boston Bruins third line on Wednesday with Nick Ritchie and Anders Bjork on his wings. Although the line was not perfect, Coyle did find the back of the net on a wild play in front of the Hurricanes’ goal. Overall, it was a solid debut for the trio.
According to Coyle, there is still work to be done as the First Round progresses.
“It’s going to come as we play more and more,” Coyle said postgame on Wednesday. “It’s just talk is so huge. There’s a few times where if one of those guys are down low or coming back into the D zone, either I yell to them to stay low or whatever the case is and we play by that. If we can make a switch and I can get down there when the time is right then we do that.”
With the back-to-back games forced by Tuesday’s postponement, the trio won’t have any practice time to work on the little things they are trying to iron out. They’ll have to do that in game action.
“But there’s some stuff we got to work on and work out,” Coyle continued. “We’ll definitely watch some video of today’s game, that’s a crucial area we want to be better at. That’s going to come with more practice time, or I guess tomorrow back at it so we’ll adjust accordingly there.”
Speaking of Coyle, he didn’t make many friends with his goal that put the Bruins up 2-1 on Wednesday. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour went on a rant about the goal postgame. He did not believe it should have counted. Brind’Amour also was not pleased with the process of his coach’s challenge.
“He comes to me and says pick one, I’m like, well it’s one of the two. There’s absolutely no way that can be a goal,” Brind’Amour told reporters. “He’s putting it on me to pick it, well you tell me what you’re calling. You’re calling he had it? Then it’s a *expletive* goalie interference.
“If you’re saying he didn’t have it? You’re not telling me what call you’re making and I have to pick one? Then they go upstairs and say “Oh, he had possession”? It’s horsesh*t. This is where the league is a joke.”
BOSTON BRUINS LINES
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Jeremy Lauzon
Boston Bruins lines are subject to change. Rask will get the start tonight in Toronto. Cassidy confirmed that during his morning media availability. There was some question on Tuesday postgame, but Cassidy will roll with his starting netminder on the second half of a back-to-back. No changes are expected for Cassidy’s club in Game 2.
CAROLINA HURRICANES LINES
Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Ryan Dzingel – Vincent Trocheck – Martin Necas
Warren Foegele – Jordan Staal – Brock McGinn
Nino Niederreiter – Morgan Geekie – Jordan Martinook
Jaccob Slavin – Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei – Joel Edmundson
Jake Gardiner – Haydn Fleury
Hurricanes lines are subject to change. Justin Williams and Sami Vatanen were late scratches for the Hurricanes on Wednesday. Brind’Amour was noncommittal about either being ready for Game 2, but told reporters that he is “hopeful” that both will be back. Mrazek is the expected starter, but that has yet to be confirmed by the team. Stay tuned for updates on the Hurricanes lineup throughout the day.