Raanta backstops Hurricanes to 5-1 win over Bruins in Game 1

Making first playoff start, netminder turns away 35 shots as team rallies offensively

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Peter Koutroumpis (@pksport)

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RALEIGH, N.C. – They got the start that they needed to open the 2022 NHL playoffs.

Supported by a 35-save performance from goaltender Antti Raanta, the Carolina Hurricanes compiled a 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins at PNC Arena on Monday.

Goals from Seth Jarvis, Nino Nederreiter, Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck, and an empty netter from Andrei Svechnikov piled up in the Bruins net and put Carolina ahead 1-0 in the teams’ first-round series.

Bruins starter Linus Ullmark made 20 saves, but didn’t get much offensive support as Taylor Hall’s goal was the only blemish on Raanta’s sheet, despite Carolina being outshot 36-24.

“Pretty much when the when the game started it was just, you know, just focusing on the one one puck at a time and one shot at a time,” Raanta said.

“And you know, the first shot was obviously tricky, almost made it in from the from the short side, but after that, it’s just felt really comfortable there and you know, it was, it was an awesome, awesome feeling to play and you know obviously get the win.”

Controlling the puck

The Bruins got to the Canes net off the opening face off as Brad Marchand tried to jam the puck through Raanta’s pads.

The Bruins maintained puck possession for extended periods of time and outshot Carolina by a 9-1 margin during the first five minutes of play.

While Raanta made numerous saves throughout the early going, his defensive corps helped to keep the puck from crossing the goal line, scrambling and diving around him to do so.

Carolina had its share of puck time in the Bruins end, but couldn’t beat Ullmark either and both teams remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play.

“They put more pucks  than anyone to the net, and that’s what they do with authority,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the Bruins.

“They get there and we knew that coming in that was gonna happen. You know, we we can do a better job doing the same and we didn’t get to that as well as you probably need to do moving forward.”

Taking advantage of opportunities

With 3:32 to go in the second period, Jarvis tipped in Jaccob Slavin’s point shot and put the Canes up 1-0.

The sold out crowd of 18,680 registered over a 100 decibels in approval and only got louder just over two minutes later when Niederreiter sniped a shot from the top of the right circle that ended up in the top corner above Ullmark’s glove hand.

“I think honestly the  fans, that building was insane,” Jarvis said.

“I didn’t know what everyone was saying like oh, ‘it’s gonna be crazy’, but like you can only believe so much. But that was – that was awesome. Then yeah, the game itself – physical, really physical. A lot. I felt like I took a lot more more hits. I think they’re letting us play a little bit more, which is nice.”

The Hurricanes couldn’t get comfortable on their two-goal cushion for long as Hall cut the Carolina lead back to one at the 2:53 mark of the third.

The snap shot from the high slot beat Raanta on the glove side.

Finishing it off

Carolina’s lead extended to 3-1 five minutes later when Vincent Trocheck picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and gained the Bruins blue line.

A well placed pass across to Teravainen ended up in the net as the Finn released a wrist shot high to Ullmark’s stick side that had no chance of being blocked by sprawling D-man Brandon Carlo or the netminder.

While both teams continued to bang bodies, poke and slash for loose pucks and keep each goalie busy, the Canes maintained more consistent control outshooting the Bruins 11-6 for the final 20 minutes.

They put the finishing touches on the victory during the final three minutes of play.

Trocheck took advantage of another possession and beat Ullmark high to the short stick side with a backhander that bounced off the keeper’s shoulder and into the net.

Svechnikov’s empty-netter capped it off to give the Canes the series lead heading into Game 2 on Wednesday.

“You have to be able to take advantage of the opportunities because you don’t know when they’re gonna come,“ Brind’Amour said.

“So we had a couple opportunities and we’re able to cash in. That’s huge. But you got to kind of play the game there. And it was pretty clear. I mean, they had it in our end, they had their opportunities, and we got in there and we had opportunities. Now, it’s figuring out how to do that more.”

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