Bruins overtake Hurricanes to claim Game 1 in NHL Eastern Conference Final

Carolina penalty kill unable to hold off Boston’s third period rally

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Peter Koutroumpis

BOSTON, MASS. – It only took 28 seconds for the Carolina Hurricanes to fall behind 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Final series against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday night.

Led by a 29-save performance by goaltender Tuuka Rask, the Bruins came back from a 2-1 deficit and piled up four goals in the third period and posted a 5-2 win over the Hurricanes.

Goals from Sebastian Aho and Gregg McKegg gave Carolina a one-goal advantage heading into the final period of play as Petr Mrazek (23 saves) kept Boston wanting and trying to pull even up to that point.

All things considered equal

Special teams play eventually made the difference.

An intense and physical game throughout, 52 total hits were dished out in even proportion while both teams amply tested each netminder (SOG – 31-27 CAR).

However, three penalties assessed to the Hurricanes in a span of five minutes to start the third allowed the Bruins to build the momentum they needed to turn the game around in their favor.

Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored power-play goals at 2:26 and 2:54, respectively.

It was Bergeron’s game-winning and league-leading fifth power play marker of the playoffs that helped Boston end Carolina’s recent six-game win streak.

Leading 3-2, the Bruins then posted goals late from Charlie Coyle (ENG) and Chris Wagner in an even faster 11-second span that further outdistanced the Hurricanes from coming back.

Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport