RALEIGH – The Boston Bruins are headed back to Boston down 0-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals best of seven series. The Hurricanes dominated the Bruins wire to wire in a 5-2 win that now has them two games away from winning their first Stanley Cup Playoffs series over the Bruins since the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals.
To make matters worse, the Boston Bruins lost defenseman Hampus Lindholm to what seemed like a concussion from a devastating headshot by Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov midway through the second period.
In a penalty-filled (21 minors and one double-minor) and rough game that resembled the old Adams Division battles between the Hartford Whalers and Boston Bruins, the Hurricanes took it to the Bruins once again. After David Pastrnak collided with Hurricanes starting goalie Antti Raanta and knocked him out of the game, the Canes appeared to be galvanized and turned up their physical game.
Jesper Fast broke through at 13:03 to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead and Sebastian Aho scored the first of two on the night for him to give the Canes a 2-0 lead at 15:30 of the opening frame. Aho struck again, this time on the powerplay, 1:10 into the second period to make it 3-0 before Patrice Bergeron finally got his first goal of the series to cut the Canes’ lead to 3-1 on the powerplay at 14:57.
The Carolina Hurricanes would regain the three-goal lead at 18:52 of the second period and take a 4-1 lead into the third period. Bergeron got his second of the game at 12:21 of the third period to make it 4-2 but Niederreiter would also get his second with an empty-netter at 19:19 to seal the deal.
Boston Bruins goalie Hampus Lindholm was shaky, allowing four goals on 33 shots.
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta stopped all six shots he faced before leaving the game 7:47 into the first period. Rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov relieved him and stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
GOLD STAR: Sebastian Aho had an assist but was held off the scoreboard in Game 1 but in Game 2 the Hurricanes’ best player struck twice and it was clear his teammates feed off him when he gets going. In 22:09 TOI, Aho had two goals on three shots, three takeaways and went 10-7 at the faceoff dot where the Hurricanes once again won the battle going 33-27 overall.
Sebastian Aho nets a PP goal to make it a three-goal game 1:10 into the second.
The #NHLBruins have not came back from a three goal deficit at all this season, lol.
— Blake Thorne (@_BlakeThorne) May 5, 2022
BLACK EYE: As mentioned above, Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm left the game midway through the second period after being absolutely leveled by Andrei Svechnikov 17:11 into the second period. At first glance, and based on this video tweet below, I thought it was a clean hit but the principal point of contact was the head as Svechnikov chicken winged his shoulder up into Lindholm’s chin. Lindholm was clearly concussed as he left the game and after the game, his status was unknown. Watch the second view of the hit.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 5, 2022
TURNING POINT: While this puck scribe doesn’t think Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak had bad intentions, he still interfered with Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta and Raanta was forced to leave the game after being injured on the play. He was relieved by rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov, who was sensational, stopping 30 of 32 shots in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut. The Hurricanes appeared to be galvanized from that moment on and played a much more physical game.
David Pastrnak collides with Antti Raanta, and the goaltender's leaving the game. pic.twitter.com/valxs95VtP
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 4, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Nino Niederreiter is one of those middle six forwards every team would love to have come playoff time. He’s a versatile, two-way player that also scores big and timely goals. That was the case again in Game 2 as the Hurricanes tenacious forward scored two more goals after netting one in Game 1.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 – Nine powerplays for the Hurricanes to the Bruins’ two. The Hurricanes scored twice on those nine powerplays.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s David Pastrnak. You think he’s gonna run — we’re on the power play. He’s trying to chase down a puck. You think his intention is to — that’s why they changed it from a 5 to a 2. His foot caught his pad. He’s trying to block the clear and get out of the way.” – Bruce Cassidy on the Pastrnak hit on Raanta.