As with every night (or day) in the NHL at this time, there was only one game played and it was an afternoon tilt as the Boston Bruins faced the upstart Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes seemed to have their chance on Thursday when they took a 2-1 lead into the third period but failed to hang on as Boston took Game 1 by a 5-2 score, potting four goals in the final period for the win. You have to wonder if that will be all she wrote for Carolina, especially if the Bruins are able to win one in Raleigh and take a commanding lead in the series. Of course, the Hurricanes dropped the first two games in Round 1 on the road to Washington before fighting back to win four of the next five games.
BOSTON 6 CAROLINA 2 (Boston leads the best-of-seven series 2-0)
The Boston Bruins scored the first six goals of the game and coasted to a 6-2 win over Carolina to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk led the charge with two goals to give him three in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He opened the scoring when his shot trickled past Carolina netminder Petr Mrazek and just went over the line.
Jake DeBrusk made it 2-0 with a power play goal at the 18:32 mark of the first. Patrice Bergeron cleanly won the draw, sent it back to Torey Krug who passed it to the other point to David Pastrnak. Pastrnak’s shot on the net was stopped by Mrazek who also stopped the rebound by DeBrusk but the second-year winger found the back of the net to give Boston the two-goal margin heading into the second period.
It became 4-0 when Krug’s long lead pass to Charlie Coyle led to Coyle’s pass to Grzelcyk and the blueliner backhanded the puck through the legs of Mrazek. It was a power play effort as Justin Williams was in the box for holding Brad Marchand.
The Hurricanes broke up the shutout bid of Tuukka Rask when Williams scored as he deflected a Justin Faulk point shot. Teuvo Teravainen completed the scoring as he intercepted a Rask clearing pass and deposited it into the empty cage.
Krug and Charlie Coyle each had three assists. When the Bruins dealt Ryan Donato to Minnesota for Coyle, it certainly looked one-sided in favor of the Wild during the regular season as Coyle had two goals and six points in 21 games for Boston while Donato had four goals and 16 points in 22 games for Minnesota. But the Wild did not make the playoffs and Coyle has been a stud for Boston in the post-season with six goals and 12 points in 15 games.
Coyle and Heinen were each a plus-three.
DeBrusk led both sides with six shots on goal.
Chris Wagner had six hits.
Game 2 of the San Jose-St. Louis Western Conference Final goes Monday with the Sharks up 1-0.