GOLD STAR: Marcus Johansson came up big for the Bruins in Game 1. It was Johansson who stole the puck from Justin Faulk at the defensive blue line, drove down the wing and fed Steve Kampfer for the first goal of the game. Then it was Johansson who fought through defenders in front of the Carolina net and smacked home the rebound of a Brad Marchand for a power-play goal in the third period that tied the score at 2.
Johansson finished with a goal, two points and a plus-1 rating in 14:19 of ice time while putting up two shots on net, four shot attempts and a blocked shot in an active night for him. The combination of the playmaking and the finish around the net is a good formula for Johansson, who has goals in consecutive games.
BLACK EYE: Dougie Hamilton imploded in the third period and helped hand things to the Bruins with a lack of discipline that revealed Carolina’s lack of experience in these big games.
That led to a couple of Bruins' power play goals in the third - Johansson's that tied it and Patrice Bergeron's go-ahead goal. It was all about Hamilton retaliating to a hit to earn a roughing penalty, and then Dougie jumping in as a third guy to throw a hit on David Backes that earned him an interference penalty.
Both were examples of Hamilton trying to play the physical game that’s really not his style, and that’s part of the reason it led to the key penalties against the Carolina defenseman in the third period. The fact that Hamilton was whining about both calls after the game only further adds to a lack of accountability that’s always been there for him.
TURNING POINT: It was the greasy Carolina game finally catching up to the Canes in the third period with Jordan Staal and Hamilton taking penalties in the first few minutes that led to power-play goals for the Bruins.
It really put a spotlight on Carolina’s inexperience in a big moment in Game 1 when they were holding a 2-1 lead into the final period and had Boston in a comfortable spot after a “meh” second period from the Black and Gold. But the boarding, roughing and interference calls led to a pair of PP goals and awakened the Bruins to give them a big victory in Game 1 with no Charlie McAvoy in the lineup.
HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Wagner is only in the Boston lineup right now because Noel Acciari is hurt, but that didn’t stop the fourth-liner from Walpole, Mass., from having his best game of the playoffs.
Wagner added a goal late in the proceedings after stealing a puck from Faulk at the offensive blue line and led the Bruins with seven shots on net and four hits in 14:09 of ice time. He also drew the boarding penalty on Staal in the third period that led to Boston’s first power-play goal and got the B’s off and running for the rest of the period in their comeback win.
Wagner brought energy, physicality and secondary offense to the table for the Bruins and that’s exactly what they needed from him.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – The number of goals that Sebastian Aho has scored in nine career games vs. the Bruins after getting another one on Thursday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He’s turning over a new leaf, eh?” –Bruce Cassidy, on Brad Marchand pulling Connor Clifton away from a scrum in the third period in order to avoid canceling out a power play coming Boston’s way for Jordan Staal’s boarding of Chris Wagner.
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