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Recap: Bruins’ power play comes alive in third, B’s win game one

The Bruins came alive in the third to rally after a shaky first two frames

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON - Through the first two frames, the Bruins looked overwhelmed. The pressure of the Hurricanes suffocated any Bruins breakout and the swarming pressure made the Bruins look lethargic. Charlie McAvoy’s skating ability was sorely missed, as the team struggled to break out cleanly.

All of that changed in the third period.

The Bruins power play ignited at the start of the final frame, scoring twice in 28 seconds to take back the lead. Marcus Johansson, who had previously been compared to a marshmallow, won a battle in front of the net and slammed home a Brad Marchand rebound to even the score. After a marshmallow soft penalty on Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron drifted away from Jaccob Slavin and found space in the middle of the umbrella to bury his signature one-timer from the slot.

All of a sudden, the Garden was rocking and the Hurricanes reverted to playing on their heels. Both power play goals involved winning a battle and finding space out in front of the net.

“I think that we were making plays where we could retrieve pucks better, we were winning more battles and we capitalized on some chances,” elaborated Zdeno Chara, on what had changed between the second and third periods. Chara visited the locker room during the first period after blocking a shot in the ankle.

Chara’s former defensive partner thought the game was lost because of those third period penalties. Hamilton appeared frustrated during the contest, jawing with Chara and Brandon Carlo and taking two third period penalties. Hamilton said that he did not agree with either penalty and that he received no explanation for the calls. The Garden ceremoniously chanted his name as he sat in the box, taunting the demonized defenseman.

“Yeah, for sure,” said Hamilton, when asked if the penalties killed Carolina’s momentum. “I think we were playing a, I guess, not bad game, but had the lead in the third and took some penalties and gave them the lead, so tough to come back from that.”

Although the Bruins were able to capitalize on Carolina’s missteps, the black and gold did a great job remaining composed as the game wore down. Tuukka Rask continued his fine form with several spectacular saves. He kept the team in the game through the first two periods, although it felt like the Hurricanes were running the Bruins out of the building.

When trailing after two periods, the Bruins had been 0-3-0 in the playoffs and 3-18-2 in the regular season. Tonight was definitely a good time to get that first third period comeback win.