The Wraparound: Can a return home jump-start the Hurricanes?
The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.
It’s pretty much do-or-die for the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
We all know the math when a team falls behind 0-3 in a series. It’s already bad enough when a team takes a 2-0 series lead in a Conference Finals series, where the team on the right side of the first two games holds a 30-2 series record (93.8 percent).
The chips are already stacked against the Hurricanes, who’ve gone from a Category 5 to a barely noticeable tropical storm. Perhaps they can gain some wind speed as the series shifts to PNC Arena in Raleigh, a place where the Hurricanes have yet to lose in these playoffs with a 5-0 record.
“I think just all in all we’ve got to rediscover who we are,” Hurricanes forward Justin Williams said. “You spend all this time off leading up [to the series] and everyone writing articles about how great we are, and then you come out and sometimes you’ve got to eat a poop sandwich. It doesn’t taste good, and you have to chew on it for a little bit, and we’ll have to do it for a couple days and get the taste out of our mouths next game.”
Carolina can draw on their experience in Round 1 when they went down 2-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. The home/road splits for the Hurricanes have been night and day in these playoffs.
• Record: 5-0
• GF/G: 4.40
• GA/G: 1.40
• Games with 3+ GA: 0
• Record: 3-5
• GF/G: 2.00
• GA/G: 3.63
• Games with 3+ GA: 6
The Hurricanes’ four goals over two games just won’t cut it against the Bruins, who have scored 11 in the same span.
Carolina has failed on the power play in six of its seven attempts in the series, including going 0-for-4 in Game 2. Meanwhile, the Bruins are 4-for-7 and are finding all sorts of timely goals thanks to untimely discipline problems for the Hurricanes.
“It always seems to come down to the special teams and generally who wins special teams,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said prior to Game 2. “I call it the special teams war and whoever wins the war at the end of the night wins the game.”
Throw in some shaky goaltending and the Hurricanes have a lot of questions that need quick answers if this is going to turn into a series when the final buzzer founds on Tuesday night.
[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]