In a matinee in Boston Sunday afternoon, the Bruins extended their series lead to 2-0 over the Carolina Hurricanes with a demanding 6-2 win.
With the Bruins taking Game 1 5-2, and Game 2 6-2, the series heads to Carolina for Games 3 and 4; here are my three takeaways from the first two games in Boston.
Special Teams Detrimental To Carolina:
In both games thus far, the Bruins have strongly out performed the Hurricanes on Special Teams, and it has proven to be devastating to Carolina.
In Game 1 Carolina went 1/3 on the power play compared to Boston going 2/5; not necessarily the biggest difference but still less successful.
However in Game 2, the Bruins went 2/2 on the power play, and Carolina failed to score a single goal on any of their four power play opportunities.
It is no surprise that Carolina’s special teams is one of their weaknesses, it has been all season and playoffs long, although at this point they are making it extremely hard on themselves to advance if they can not turn things around on the power play.
Rask Outperforming Mrazek:
Carolina Goalie Petr Mrazek returned to the net in Game 1 after missing time in the Second Round with a lower body injury, however has not performed nearly at the level he did prior to the injury.
Through the first two games of this series Mrazek has a goals against average of 5 goals a game, and a save percentage of .808; neither of these will help a team win a Stanley Cup.
With backup Curtis McElhinney having a goals against average of 1.56, and a save percentage of .947, Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour has to be considering starting McElhinney in Game 3 back in Carolina.
At the other end of the ice, Tuukka Rask has continued to perform at a high level.
In this series, Rask has a goals against average of 2 goals a game, and a save percentage of .925.
Thus far in the playoffs, Tuukka Rask has a goals against average of 2.02, a save percentage of .937, along with a shutout in the Second Round.
Boston Won At The Trade Deadline:
In just the first two games of this series, trade deadline acquisitions Marcus Johansson, and Charlie Coyle have produced eight points.
Even more impressive, Charlie Coyle has scored six goals in the playoffs, tied for most on the Bruins with Patrice Bergeron.
With arguably the deadliest first line in the league, if the Bruins continue to get production from their depth players, this team will be incredibly hard to stop.
In the Games 1 and 2 against Carolina, the Bruins have scored 11 goals, by 10 different players.
Puck drop for Game 3 is at 8:00 PM ET Tuesday night in Carolina, as the Hurricanes look to fight their way back into the series down 2-0; the Hurricanes have not lost in Carolina this post season.
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