The Boston Bruins once again made quick work of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After sweeping the Hurricanes in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, the Bruins eliminated the Hurricanes in the first round of the 2020 playoffs with a 2-1 win in Game 5 on Wednesday night. The B's will move on to the second round in the Toronto bubble, although their opponent has not yet been determined.
Here are three takeaways from Game 5.
1. Playoff Krejci has returned and B's are benefitting David Krejci was the Bruins' best player in the series, and he gave a brilliant Game 5 performance.
The veteran center scored a goal and picked up an assist Wednesday, giving him eight points (three goals, five assists) for the series. His point streak now stands at six games going back to the round robin finale.
Krejci didn't just make a major impact offensively, he also came up clutch defensively. He threw his body in front of a puck with a diving shot block in the defensive zone during the first period and likely saved a goal as B's goaltender Jaroslav Halak was scrambling to move from post to post.
Krejci has been underappreciated throughout his Bruins career, and when the playoffs begin, he usually rises to the occasion. He's now No. 2 on the Bruins' all-time playoff scoring leaderboard.
If Krejci keeps playing near, or at this level during the 2020 playoffs, the Bruins should have enough secondary scoring to make a deep run.
2. Bruins power play enters Round 2 on fire The Bruins power play went 0-for-9 in the three round robin games and started off this first round series 0-for-4 in Game 1, but the unit is firing on all cylinders going into the second round. Boston scored on two of its four power play opportunities in Game 5, giving the team a 5-for-15 mark with the man advantage over the last four games. Even when the B's didn't score on the power play in Game 5, they still made the Hurricanes penalty kill work awfully hard. The Bruins finished with 19 shot attempts, 11 shots on net, 11 scoring chances and four high-danger scoring chances on the power play Wednesday.
Here's a game-by-game breakdown of Boston's power play success against Carolina.
Game 1: 0-for-4 Game 2: 2-for-3 Game 3: 1-for-5 Game 4: 0-for-3 Game 5: 2-for-4
The Bruins scored the second-most power play goals of any team during the regular season, and with David Pastrnak returning to the lineup and making the team's top PP unit whole again, the B's should be able to carry their momentum with the man advantage into Round 2.
3. Bruins need better starts One negative for the Bruins in this series was falling behind too often. The B's gave up the opening goal in three of the five games against the Hurricanes. Boston was able to get away with it because Carolina is an inferior team with poor goaltending and was hit hard by injuries (forward Andrei Svechnikov, defenseman Brett Pesce, etc.). But the B's cannot consistently give up the first goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round and expect to reach the Eastern Conference Final.
The Lightning have a deep, highly skilled group of forwards. Tampa Bay scored 15 goals and won four of its five games against Boston earlier this season. The Bolts also scored the fifth-most first period goals during the regular season, so they're no strangers to fast starts.