The Carolina Hurricanes responded in Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 win that tied the series at 1-1.
Here are some talking points from Game 2:
GOLD STAR: The Hurricanes' star players didn't exactly light it up in Game 1, but they came to play in Game 2 for Carolina. Andrei Svechnikov is one of the best young players in the NHL and he showed it on Thursday night while scoring a go-ahead goal in the second period on a one-time rocket that beat Tuukka Rask to the blocker side and gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.
Svechnikov finished with a goal and two points and a plus-2 rating in 15 minutes of ice time. He also added three hits while mixing things up physically with Charlie McAvoy on a hard hit in the corner followed by an up-close-and-personal encounter with Zdeno Chara.
Svechnikov showed both the physicality and the skill in an impressive package in Carolina’s win over Boston in Game 2.
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BLACK EYE: Jake DeBrusk has now had a bevy of offensive chances in the first two games of this series and he continues to have issues finishing off those chances. DeBrusk at least a half-dozen Grade-A scoring chances in Game 1 -- he hit a pair of posts and missed an empty net -- but couldn’t do anything to push the B’s over the finish line in an eventual double-overtime win.
DeBrusk again had chances in Game 2 on a line that was clicking with David Krejci and Ondrej Kase most of the night, but couldn’t finish on any plays where another goal could have made a big difference for the Black and Gold. Add in that he was a minus-2 in the game, it wasn’t a banner night for DeBrusk.
TURNING POINT: About midway through the second period the Bruins lost their energy and verve, and Carolina seemed to take over the pace and style of the game while getting to the Black and Gold with their speed and pressure. That Bruins had a couple of chances to clear pucks ahead of the Hurricanes scoring the game-winning goal, and it was David Krejci who eventually made the key mistake.
Instead of icing the puck and calming things down, the Bruins center threw a blind puck to the side boards that Martin Necas instantly picked up and carried behind the net before feeding Dougie Hamilton for a point blast. Krejci was brilliant with a goal and two points while playing over 20 minutes of ice time, but his mistake in the third period ended up being very costly for Boston.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand enjoyed his best game in the bubble when he scored a power-play strike at the end of the second period to tie up the game and showed he was engaged both mentally and physically in the series. Marchand camped at the post and banged home the power-play rebound of a Patrice Bergeron shot that rang off the post, and finished with a goal and two points in 20:31 of ice time.
Marchand added four shots on net, seven shot attempts and two hits in an active all-around game where he was shooting the puck and getting much closer to his game. Marchand had some excellent shifts on the penalty kill as well while bringing his “A” game for the Black and Gold in a very close loss without his right wing partner-in-crime David Pastrnak.
BY THE NUMBERS: .889 – the save percentage for Rask in two games vs. Carolina in this series while stopping just 48 of the 54 shots that he’s faced and allowing 3.00 goals per game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s no atmosphere. So it feels like an exhibition game. We’re trying our best to ramp and get energized, and make it feel like it’s a playoff game.” – Rask, critical of the bubble hockey atmosphere after Thursday's loss.
His teammates sure seemed to play like it was a playoff game, though.