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RECAP: Hurricanes bring physical game, edge Bruins 3-2 in Game 2

Despite two power-play goals, the Bruins fought through fits and had little sustained control to show for it.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Juuuust before puck drop, the absence of Pastrnak was dropped on us... not cool, David.

With the addition of Mr. Playoff OT Justin Williams to the Carolineup, this game had a really weird change of lens through which to watch at first.

First Period

Anders Bjork drew the top-line assignment in Pasta’s absence, and for at least the first shift or two, he looked OK in general and flexed the power on his wrist shot a little. I wonder if coach told him to just pretend he’s His Carbiness and just shoot?

The Bruins struggled to put shots on net through the first half of the period, Including Bjork. Carolina wasn’t vastly out-shooting them, but there wasn’t much to overpower, with just two shots on net through ten minutes of play.

The second half of the frame opened up a little in terms of speed, but official shots still were pretty low. Jeremy Lauzon retaliated against a heavy open-ice hit on Karson Kuhlman, dished by Haydn Fleury, so Boston had to kill a penalty. A single call against Carolina gave the B’s their own chance on the advantage, but no luck.

Near the end of the frame, Jordan Staal took a puck up high in front of Tuukka Rask as he was checking Charlie McAvoy to clear the crease, and McAvoy gave him some attention with his stick as he tried to stand up. Staal returned the favor only to see Staal’s helmet come flying off in the aftermath of Staal’s (legal) check in the corner. Yes, McAvoy ripped it off. No, that’s not kosher.

Second Period

Bjork started the period again with the top line, so far so good. He also extended his shift to give Krejci a golden 1v1 chance on ‘Canes goalie James Reimer, only for the veteran center to miss high and off the glass.

Boston controlled the first five, and clamped down on the neutral zone, repeatedly repelling any attempt at transition offense. Carolina was able to counter and continued pressing the physical game, though eventually the refs decided to step in and sent Chara and Svechnikov to the box with matching minors after the latter shoved McAvoy to the boards from behind.

The penalties re-set the tone for a few minutes, but Carolina was able to bring the pace back up first, and the Bruins struggled. First, Wagner took an elbowing penalty, and the ‘Canes capitalized on the advantage.

Their puck retrieval kept up, and a solid pass from the half-wall found Svechnikov with just enough room to rip it top-shelf. 2-1, Canes, about 4 minutes left in the period.

Fortunately for the scoreboard, a late penalty call on Carolina gave Boston a power play, and though stifled for most of the first minute on the advantage, were able to crack through as Marchand collected some garbage in front of Reimer.

Third Period

The ‘Canes came out FIRING. Brandon Carlo got completely turned inside out.

The B’s were more crisp on their passing to start, though, and pinned Carolina in their zone for maybe two and a half straight shifts.

Another goal-event review fell in Boston’s favor, this time at their own net, and honestly... hard to negotiate this one too, but it probably shouldn’t have been disallowed. Maybe there was too much contact? Hard to tell where the line is. Boston also took a penalty late and managed to have a better power play structure while on the kill, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Special teams, amirite?

Renowned former first-round pick to Boston, Dougie Hamilton, put the Canes ahead close to the halfway point of the third. This gif doesn’t do it justice but the Hurricanes had a spectacular cycle going, and Boston looked absolutely frozen.

Bruce Cassidy pulled Tuukka with about 90 seconds to go, and Marchand had his stick broken twice in the last 30 seconds by stick checks. The Hurricanes held on to the 3-2 lead and won, tying the series.