Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-3 Game 1 win over the Hurricanes in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Bergeron bails out Boston: Through two periods of play, the Bruins dominated the Hurricanes in pretty much every statistic other than the one really matters — the scoreboard.
Entering the second intermission, a Carolina Hurricanes team that averaged 33.3 shots on goal during the regular season failed to generate all that much against Boston — landing just nine shots on goal against Boston.
Of course, Carolina couldn’t really land too many shots on net considering how lopsided the puck-possession metrics were through the first 40 minutes — with Boston outshooting the Hurricanes, 17-6, during 5v5 play.
And yet, for all of the quality looks Boston was able to muster against Petr Mrazek, the Bruins entered the third period stuck in a 2-2 deadlock with Carolina, due in large part to self-inflicted miscues.
The second period was a massive fumble for Bruce Cassidy’s club, as Boston had a prime chance to build itself a two-goal cushion after Charlie Coyle gave the B’s their first lead up in Toronto at 4:38.
Given that Carolina unsuccessfully challenged Coyle’s tally, Boston had a chance to build on its 2-1 lead after the Canes were handed a minor penalty for a delay of game.
But, just 21 seconds into the man advantage, Carolina countered, with an awful feed from David Pastrnak getting picked off by Brock McGinn at the offensive blue line — with the Canes forward burying his shorthanded chance past Tuukka Rask to tie things up.
It could have been a back-breaking swing of momentum for Carolina, one reinforced when Carolina secured another equalizer from Haydn Fleury at 9:39 in the third period — eventually forcing overtime. But — as has been the case for years now — Boston’s top line eventually bailed out the club, albeit a few hours later.
After no victor was determined through the first four periods of action, Patrice Bergeron and his line put an end to another potential marathon — with the B’s pivot burying a feed from David Pastrnak just 1:13 into double overtime to hand Boston a 4-3 win in Game 1.
Bergeron's game-winner ended a stretch of overtime in which Boston generally tilted the ice in their favor, with the B's holding an 11-3 edge in scoring chances during 5v5 play. However, given the amount of chances Boston failed to capitalize on, coupled with the manner in which Carolina stayed afloat during regulation, this had the makings of another heartbreaking B's defeat.
But not on Tuesday, with Bergeron and Co. taking a massive step forward from their lackluster showing during round-robin play. More games like this from the top-six forwards can right the ship in a hurry for a Bruins club entering Game 2 with plenty of momentum back on their side.
Changes coming? Despite Boston's victory, Bruce Cassidy could be switching around his lineup before the puck drops in Game 2 on Thursday night. The B's bench boss shouldn't tinker at all with a reenergized DeBrusk-Krejci-Kase line, but Charlie Coyle's line could see a new winger slot in for tomorrow's matchup, as Nick Ritchie didn't help his cause on Wednesday with some defensive lapses and poor showings during puck battles. Karson Kuhlman, while not nearly the same size as Ritchie, could be used to counter some of the speed that Carolina routinely throws at an opponent with every shift. Given Wednesday's prolonged contest — and the fact that Boston and Carolina will meet again Thursday night — Boston could opt for Jaroslav Halak in net in Game 2, although Cassidy won't announce such a move until Thursday morning. Stay tuned.