But before delving into the loss, the highlight of the night was Willie O’Ree’s No. 22 retirement. The Bruins honored the trailblazer with a tribute video, followed by a speech from O’Ree at his home.
O’Ree’s speech was heartfelt. He mentioned that he grew up as a Montreal Canadiens’ fan, but when he was called up 64 years ago to play for the Bruins against the Habs, O’Ree said he knew “my heart would be with the Bruins forever.”
That day, he became the NHL’s first Black player.
Another takeaway from his speech was his perseverance to attain his goal of playing professional hockey and at the NHL level and his handling of his vision loss in one eye three years prior to his NHL call-up.
“I told myself, Willie, forget about what you can’t see,” O’Ree said. “Focus on what you can see.”
As No. 22 headed to the rafters, O’Ree was joined by his wife and daughter for on the TD Garden jumbotron for the historic moment.
Sorry that I have to interrupt the joys of pre-game ceremony festivities. Back to the 7-1 loss...
The B’s couldn’t responded offensively as the Hurricanes scored five unanswered goals, including two on the power-play in the third period.
“We weren’t nearly good enough, and we wouldn’t have been good enough against the worst team in the league tonight,” Bruce Cassidy said.
The Hurricanes were up 2-0 just six minutes into the game on goals from Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, but the Bruins did bounce back with a power-play goal from Patrice Bergeron.
But that’s where the Bruins’ offense ended.
Misplays by defensemen plagued the first period. Bodies out front were left uncovered and the Hurricanes had stronger puck movement that allowed them to create plays and viable chances.
It didn’t help that Tuukka Rask also had an off night, especially on Carolina’s third goal and second of the night (and first period) by Kotkaniemi.
Turnovers, more puck races lost and Carolina’s better net-front presence put the Bruins behind 5-1 after 20 minutes with Seth Jarvis and Derek Stepan adding tallies.
After Rask allowed five goals on 12 shots in the first period, he was pulled. Linus Ullmark took over for the remainder of the game, but the Bruins couldn’t recover from defensive breakdowns in the first frame and never found an offensive rhythm.
The Bruins had a few opportunities in the second period, but couldn’t connect on several plays out front. They had a potential great opportunity to get something going on a 5-on-3 power play, but weren’t selfish enough on shots and overpassed.
The B’s ended the middle frame in the same boat as the first. With the third period underway, the Canes continued to press and had long stretches of o-zone time.
The Hurricanes moved the puck better through all zones and won foot races to keep possession.
Along with their substantial offensive-zone coverage, Carolina also capitalized on their power plays while the Bruins didn’t.
The Hurricanes broke through on Ullmark and added two on the man-advantage in the third period – from Jaccob Slavin and Andrei Svechnikov – to add salt to the Bruins’ wounds. Ullmark ended the night with 20 saves.
Final score: 7-1 Hurricanes.
As Patrice Bergeron said, “Burn the tape on that one.”
The Bruins will look to forget about this game as they get right back to it on Thursday January 20, 2022 against the Washington Capitals at 7 pm.
Here’s a look at the first period shellacking and the Canes’ third-period goals:
The Hurricanes opened the scoring at 3:44 of the first period.
Slavin found Teravainen low inside the right face-off circle where he put a one-timer past Rask’s glove. 1-0 Canes.
What was better? Slavo's pass or Turbo's Finnish? pic.twitter.com/V4ylYznJcT— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 19, 2022
The Hurricanes took a two-goal lead at 6:03 of the first period.
At the top of the paint, Kotkaniemi found the loose puck from Svechnikov’s rebound to slide one past Rask’s right skate. 2-0 Hurricanes.
The Bruins cut into their deficit at 11:13 of the first period on the power play.
David Pastrnak’s pass deflected off Bergeron’s skate out in the slot and past Frederik Andersen. 2-1 game.
Patrice Bergeron's goal: Bruins set it up again after Pastrnak keeps in Carolina's clearing attempt. His pass banks in off Bergeron's skate. pic.twitter.com/ReVipj92Z6— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) January 19, 2022
The Hurricanes retook their two-goal lead seconds later at 11:26 of the first period.
At the left point, Kotkaniemi picked up a board pass from Slavin and threw a long shot through traffic on net that flew over Rask’s glove. 3-1 Canes.
KK's goal was a beauty.— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 19, 2022
Sorry. Second goal, that is. You know, cause he scored two. pic.twitter.com/GV3KwXJyCM
The Hurricanes extended their lead at 16:01 of the first period.
Jarvis capitalized on a neutral-zone turnover to skate into the offensive zone on a drive to the net where he beat Connor Clifton and then Rask’s blocker. 4-1 Canes.
Jarvy is still fast as boi pic.twitter.com/3el5YQ5ZvU— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 19, 2022
The Hurricanes took a four-goal lead at 16:57 of the first period.
Jordan Martinook outhustled Derek Forbort to the end boards, winning a puck battle, to find Stepan crashing the net for a quick shot over Rask’s glove. 5-1 Canes.
The Hurricanes struck on the power play at 3:05 of the third period.
After receiving a pass from Tony DeAngelo, Slavin held onto the puck inside the left-wing circle to drag it towards the high slot and let a wrist shot rip over Ullmark’s blocker. 6-1 Canes.
The Hurricanes scored yet another power-play goal at 7:48 of the third period.
Sebastian Aho picked up his rebound, cycled behind the net and threw the puck towards the slot where it found Svechnikov for a one-timer past Ullmark. Final score: 7-1 Hurricanes.