The Bruins put on a show in Boston in front of a sold out, Mother’s Day crowd on Sunday for game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Bruins won the game 6-2 and were just playing on another level yesterday. Production came from everyone on the ice and the team played some of their best hockey of the postseason. Carolina, on the other hand, rolled over almost immediately. Outside of a couple of good hits in the first period and two goals at the end that didn’t really mean anything, the Hurricanes did not affect the game in any way.
The Bruins had no resistance putting pucks on net. Boston is now ahead 2-0 in the series and Carolina needs to find a way to stop the bleeding or they could on the verge of being swept.
The first 15 minutes of this game were actually very competitive and it looked like this was shaping up to be a very exciting hockey game. The Hurricanes knew how important it is to get a game on the road and they came out trying to set the tone early. As I mentioned, they had a couple of really big hits in the first period on Matt Grzelcyk and Sean Kuraly, but the Bruins kept their composure and did not let it affect their game.
Matt Grzelcyk responded in a big way by scoring the first goal for the Bruins on a near-post wrist shot that found its’ way to the back of the net and from there on out, the Bruins were rolling. After the initial goal, the Bruins’ scoring chances started to add up. With 1:28 left in the first, Jake DeBrusk got a good look right in front of the net just six seconds into a Bruins’ power play and was able to make the score 2-0.
The Bruins had all the momentum going into the first intermission and they continued the constant pressure in the second.
Just 3:46 into the second period, the Bruins were able to make the score 3-0. The Bruins got a breakaway chance and Marcus Johansson made a great pass to Connor Clifton right in front of the net after drawing two defenders and the goalie to one side of the net. At this point, the Hurricanes looked defeated. Mrazek was visibly frustrated with giving up three goals so quickly and the Bruins were just breaking the team’s spirit.
But it didn’t end there.
Matt Grzelcyk scored his second goal of the game late in the second period on another power play for the Bruins to make the score 4-0 at the end of the second period.
At the start of the third period, the Bruins scored again with a goal coming from David Backes right in front of the net to make the score 5-0. The Bruins were able to get right in front of the goalie unchecked by any of the Hurricanes’ defensemen and it made it very tough for Petr Mrazek to keep the puck out of the net. The Bruins scored their sixth goal on a two-on-one chance and Patrice Bergeron made a beautiful pass to Danton Heinen right in front of Mrazek and he was able to just skip it right past him and the score was now 6-0.
The game was clearly over at this point even though there was still more than eight minutes left in the third period. The Bruins started to take their foot off the gas and Carolina was able to get two goals back to make the score 6-2 but it was not enough.
The Bruins have now scored 11 goals in the first two games of this series.
I had originally predicted that game one would be the only blowout of the series, but I was clearly wrong. The next two games are in Carolina and they need to find an answer defensively to keep the Bruins’ players from getting right in front of their goalie or they will lose the next two games in a similar fashion. They will come out and try everything they can to win game three.
It has been said that game three is always the hardest game to win for a team to complete a four-game sweep so I expect this next game to be a lot closer than the first two. The Bruins may go into this next game a little laid back because of their 2-0 lead in the series, and the Hurricanes’ backs are against the wall. They have a day to rest and watch film to figure out what they need to do to climb their way out of a two-game deficit.
If the Hurricanes come out with the same game plan in game three, home ice will not be enough to get them a win. They need to change something up defensively because the Bruins are scoring with little-to-no resistance in this series. I do believe the Hurricanes will win game three. They will not let their season end in a 4-0 sweep in the Eastern Conference finals.