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Game 2: Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes Lines, Preview

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Boston Bruins

Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Stanley Cup playoff preview:

Boston Bruins (51-26-5, 107 pts) vs Carolina Hurricanes (54-20-8-116 pts) in Game 2 of their first round series with Carolina up 1-0 in the series.

TIME: 7:00 PM ET

TV: NESN, Bally Sports

The Boston Bruins are still in Carolina readying for the Wednesday night’s Game 2 at PNC Arena against a Carolina Hurricanes club that’s up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

While the two teams have faced each other in three of the last four postseasons, things are a little different this time around with the Metro Division champion Hurricanes standing as the favorite in the series, and the Boston Bruins serving as the underdogs after entering the postseason as a wild card team.

That played out in Game 1 where the Hurricanes took home a 5-1 victory over the Bruins where they pulled away with three unanswered goals in the third period. Carolina has now outscored the Boston Bruins by a 21-2 margin over four meetings between the two clubs this season and the Boston Bruins have managed just one 5-on-5 goal in 12 periods of play vs. the Canes.

It’s well into being a trend at this point for the Boston Bruins offense against the Carolina defense, and one where they’re going to need to crash the net and get to the dirty areas in order to change the narrative at this point against the NHL’s best defense during the regular season.

“I’m sure you’ve guys have probably heard this a million times, but people at the net-front with good timing so they’re not able to be tied up – free sticks around their net-front, and see if we can generate some second-chance opportunities,” said Hall, who absolutely earned the right to speak his mind after Game 1 as the team’s best player with Boston’s only goal and six shot attempts in 18:31 of ice time. “There were pucks laying there. Their goalie made some really good first saves. I think playoff hockey is about hanging around the net and finding a way to score.

“You know honestly, just kind of like what they did on their first goal – a tip. Their second goal [was the result of] a lot of traffic, our goalie can’t really see [the puck in that instance]. For us, we always seem to outshoot teams but what can kind of get away from us is getting people to the net and making use of all those shots and creating second chances. So, that’s going to be a focus for us.”

The Bruins have announced Linus Ullmark as their starter for Game 2 after he allowed four goals on 24 shots in his first career playoff appearance in Monday night’s loss.

The Carolina Hurricanes will be sticking with backup Antti Raanta (15-5-4, 2.45 goals against average and .912 save percentage), who stopped 35-of-36 shots in a brilliant performance for the Canes in the Game 1 win.

Boston Bruins Notes

-The Boston Bruins have switched up the defensive pairings to move Matt Grzelcyk (a minus-3, no shots on net and a risky pinch that led to Carolina’s back-breaking third goal) with Charlie McAvoy after Grzelcyk struggled in the Game 1 loss. That leaves Hampus Lindholm on the second pairing with Brandon Carlo.

-The Boston Bruins have added veteran Chris Wagner to the NHL roster for the Stanley Cup playoff run now that the salary cap is no longer in play. Wagner “earned his spot” with a strong regular season finale where he posted 11 registered hits and played a strong, spirited game that showed what he could still bring in a fourth line role if called upon. It’s something the Boston Bruins were pretty happy about across the board after Wagner played the good soldier role while saddled in the AHL for the entirety of this season.

“[Wagner] was patient about things. Not happy about things. But a really good soldier and leader, which was important for our organization. He just asking me that if he’s playing well and his game is at the top of it, is he a part of moving forward? I’ve always told him that ultimately, coach decides the lineup,” said Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “But that being said, if you’re playing your best, he’s going to put in the players that are going to help him win. Especially as the intensity ramps up and Chris can provide what he does.”

–The Boston Bruins got a flurry of power play goals in the last couple of games during the regular season, but it’s difficult to ignore the 0-for-39 stretch that the B’s power play endured for nearly the whole month of April after they went 0-for-3 on the PP in Game 1. The Hurricanes were the NHL’s best penalty kill during the regular season, so it’s going to take some doing to get the Boston Bruins untracked against Carolina when it comes to special teams.

-Boston Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly will be a healthy scratch, a situation that has unfolded for the veteran defenseman intermittently since Hampus Lindholm was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline.

–The two teams registered for 90  hits in Game 1 with Carolina finishing with every player in the Canes lineup getting at least one hit for the first time since way back in 2010.

Carolina Hurricanes Notes

-Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho continues to be the resident Boston Bruins killer with 10 goals and 16 points in 13 career games against the Black and Gold.

–Pyotr Kochetekov will sit behind Annti Raanta as the backup goaltender with Freddie Andersen remaining out due to a lower-body injury. The Hurricanes expect Andersen to return at some point in the series, but there’s still no clear timetable as to when that might happen.

-Carolina got balanced scoring from their best forwards in Game 1 as Vinny Trocheck, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov, Seth Jarvis and Nino Neiderreiter also scored goals in the Game 1 win over the Boston Bruins. For Jarvis it was the eighth straight game that the youngster has registered a point for the Hurricanes.

-Ethan Bear and Derek Stepan are expected to be healthy scratches for the Hurricanes when they start out the series against the Bruins.

Boston Bruins Lineup:

Forwards

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk

Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak

Trent Frederic  – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith

Nick Foligno – Tomáš Nosek – Curtis Lazar

Defense:

Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton

Goalies:

Linus Ullmark

Jeremy Swayman 

Carolina Hurricanes Lineup:

Forwards:

Andrei Svechnikov — Sebastian Aho — Seth Jarvis
Max Domi — Vincent Trocheck — Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter — Derek Stepan — Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Martin Necas

Defensemen:

Jaccob Slavin — Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Ian Cole — Ethan Bear

Goalies:

Antti Raanta

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Rick W Murray

If the bruins don’t win tonight Elvis has left the building

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