Preview: Bruins at Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes have been perfect at home through the first two rounds of the playoffs and they will need to keep that streak intact if they hope to get back into the Easten Conference finals. After getting blown out in back-to-back losses in Boston, the Hurricanes face a must-win situation when they host the Bruins in Game 3 on Tuesday night.
Although Carolina overcame a 2-0 series deficit against reigning Stanley Cup champion Washington in the opening round, the team needs to make a statement that it can play with Boston. "Playoffs are all about putting pressure on the other team and seeing how they do with a little bit of pressure," captain Justin Williams said. "So we need to get a win ... and then push back a little bit and see how they respond. Just squeeze the other team a little bit. They've squeezed us twice. We need to do a little bit of punching back." The Bruins came from behind to win each of their first two series but they have outscored the Hurricanes 11-4 in extending their postseason winning streak to five games. “It’s 2-0, that’s good,” goaltender Tuukka Rask said after his team scored the first six goals in Sunday's 6-2 drubbing. “We took care of business at home, which is what we wanted to do.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS
ABOUT THE BRUINS: Perhaps the best sign for Boston in the Game 2 mauling was that its vaunted No. 1 unit contributed only two assists while the third line of Charlie Coyle, Marcus Johansson and Dalton Heinen combined for seven points to boost their totals to 11 goals and 17 assists in the playoffs. "Depth scoring is so crucial for playoffs," defenseman Torey Krug said. “I said it all along that if we were going to make it and go on a run, it was going to be those bottom two lines that feed energy into this team and score big timely goals and we’re going to need that going forward.” Krug and his fellow blue-liners did their part Sunday by supplying three goals and three assists.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES: Petr Mrazek was hurt in Game 2 of the second round against the New York Islanders and did not return until the series opener against Boston, but he said the injury and subsequent layoff were not factors in giving up 10 goals in the first two games. “I’m feeling good, no issue with that,” Mrazek said. “I don’t think it was that long a break, maybe nine or 10 days. I was feeling pretty good. I’m not going to look past, just look forward to the next one.” Coach Rod Brind’Amour acknowledged that he is contemplating a change in net for Game 3, which would mean a switch to Curtis McElhinney, who earned three wins by turning aside 71 of 75 shots in 7 1/2 periods against New York.
1. Krug became the fifth Boston defenseman to register three assists in multiple games in the postseason.
2. Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen has scored four times in four games to lift his team-high total to seven goals.
3. Boston is 4-for-9 on the power play versus Carolina and has had 19 different players score in the playoffs, matching a franchise record.
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 2