The Wraparound: Hurricanes know they need more
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.
A 2-1 lead heading into the third period should have been right where the Carolina Hurricanes wanted the Boston Bruins.
The ‘bunch of jerks’ had gone 3-0 when leading after two frames prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, but they buckled under the pressure of two separate penalties that derailed all of their hard work through 40 minutes.
“We’re not going to win if we don’t play better than that,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We had spurts, but it’s not going to be good enough in the regular season, and it’s certainly not going to be good enough this time of year. We’ll regroup and try to get better for the next game.”
Did Carolina fall victim to the ‘rest-equals-rust’ problem we’ve seen in these playoffs? The New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche had all lost games following extended time off between rounds. Carolina added their names to that list last Thursday.
“In the playoffs, we’ve been pretty successful holding leads,” Hurricanes forward Justin Williams said. “We got kicked in the pants a little today. That hasn’t happened in a while.”
Still, if you spot the Bruins a couple of third-period power plays, you have to expect that a team with the resume the Bruins have in the playoffs will extract something from them.
And they did.
“At the end of the day, they’re an experienced group,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They know that we need them at that particular point. The power play was what was required because [CAR] took a few penalties, so it might be the penalty kill on Sunday that needs the big kill. I think our group’s been pretty good at identifying some key times in games throughout these playoffs [where] we’ve got to step up, and that was one of them. [The game-tying score] was a big goal for us. Both of them, really. It changed the complexion of the game, so good for them.”
The Bruins are clipping along at a 30 percent rate with the man-advantage in the playoffs, ranked first.
The Hurricanes could use a boost in that department. They enter the games going at a 12.2 percent rate, good for 14th, which isn’t good at all. They are just 2-for-28 in their past nine games but did find a power-play marker in Game 1.
A couple of quick notes:
- Scoring first is paramount for the Hurricanes, who are 4-0 when getting that opening tuck in this year’s postseason
- Conversely, the Bruins are 8-0 when leading after two periods
- Boston has a plus-8 goal differential in both the first and third periods this postseason, but they are minus-1 during the second period.