Coach Bruce Cassidy started his fourth line unit of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner, which meant a thoroughly pinned forecheck, forcing an icing call in the first minute on Carolina.
Canes captain Justin Williams tried to get under Chara’s skin very early on, by laying a soft stick-check on his arm after that icing call.
Williams gives Chara a chop on the icing... haha I wouldn't pic.twitter.com/AMjmxIF45q— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) May 12, 2019
Great chemistry was evident between David Backes and Jake DeBrusk; having Backes’ center experience on that wing, and being able to protect the puck before the pass, helped on the breakout. Nevermind that David Krejci looks like he can do whatever he wants with the way his wingers hound the puck along the boards.
Matt Grzelcyk took a nasty hit from Micheal Ferland...
Micheal Ferland just lit up Matt Grzelcyk. pic.twitter.com/7d4wh1dds1— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 12, 2019
... and Tuukka got himself involved early, including using his body to clear the puck on a netfront charge by Brett Pesce.
A tripping call to Chara put Boston on the kill not far past the midway point, and Boston was able to kill it.
With just under five minutes left in the frame, Matt Grzelcyk took a pass as he entered the faceoff circle to the right of Petr Mrazek and fired home a bit of a softie through Swiss Petr. (As in, swiss cheese. Ride it out, it works.)
Marcus Johansson sets up Matt Grzelcyk — who sneaks one past Mrazek. pic.twitter.com/lhtb3kWMxu— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 12, 2019
A penalty to Justin Williams would send Boston to the power pla-
Jake DeBrusk just setting up shop in front of the Canes net pic.twitter.com/L4AxhP29t5— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 12, 2019
and just that quickly, DeBrusk strikes from in front. A 2-0 lead is a good thing to bring into the locker room with you.
An early penalty to Bergeron put the B’s shorthanded, but with a mad rush from Brad Marchand that nearly resulted in a shot, he forced the ‘Canes to ice the puck, giving Boston a free line change and an offensive faceoff.
After the kill, and some better 5-on-5 play out of Carolina, Boston firmly took control. A few good chances led to one with time and space for Marcus Johansson to control the puck, almost fall over, then feed Connor Clifton for his first career goal, regular season or playoffs.
The latest to be introduced to Cliffy Hockey?— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 12, 2019
The back of the Hurricanes' net.
3-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/9MFZTAC3y3
This third line of Johansson - Coyle - Heinen was so good in this game, it was almost overlooked that they were the second-most used line at even strength through two periods, behind Nordstrom - Kuraly - Wagner line. (Between Bergeron in the box, and saving Pastrnak for the third, this isn’t totally ludicrous, but... strange.)
Marchand probably should have been called for a high-stick for his part in an exchange with Justin Williams, but Williams was the only one penalized, and the ensuing Boston power play gave the Bruins a 4-0 lead to close out the middle frame. Here’s Matt Grzelcyk’s goal to extend the B’s lead:
Gryz goes backhand for his second goal of the game pic.twitter.com/XqSW3tn63G— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 12, 2019
Two more goals in the third, maybe? LET’S FIND OUT.
YES, THERE WOULD BE.
Boston tallied early when David Backes cleaned up a mess behind Petr Mrazek.
Bergeron was called for a second penalty, but went unaccounted for as he exited the box, and he authored a beautiful rush, feeding Danton Heinen in front for a deke and tap-in tally.
Carolina was able to stay away from doing damage to themselves by not getting retaliatory against Boston, but the game was clearly frustrating for them and the challenge was very clearly out of reach, even with a late tip-in goal by Justin Williams and an even later goal when Tuukka Rask left his crease for some strange reason.
Bruins have a 2-0 series lead, and Game 3 is Tuesday in Carolina!!