BOSTON — For the second straight game, the Boston Bruins got goals from unexpected players and converted with their power play. And for the second time in three playoff series, the Carolina Hurricanes will return to Raleigh in a two-game hole.
Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk scored twice and that Bruins got two more power play goals in their 6-2 win in front of 17,565 Sunday at TD Garden.
“I think, all in all, we’ve just got to rediscover who we are,” Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said. “You spend all this time leading up and everyone writing articles about how great you are, and you come out and sometimes you’ve got to eat a poop sandwich.
“It doesn’t taste good, you’ve got to chew on it for a little bit, and we’ll have to do it for a couple days and get the taste out of our mouth the next game.”
Carolina returns to Raleigh in preparation for Game 3, which will be Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Hurricanes are 5-0 at PNC Arena this postseason, last losing there on March 28. Carolina hasn’t lost consecutive home games since just before Christmas.
“We still feel confident that we can win at home,” center Jordan Staal said. “We’re going to go into that building and do what we do best and give it all we got and try to find a way to get a win and move forward.”
The Hurricanes certainly didn’t have answers for the Bruins on Mother’s Day.
A physical opening first 10 minutes gave way to the game’s first goal at 15:22.
After Boston defenseman Torey Krug and Carolina winger Brock McGinn tangled behind the play, the Bruins brought the puck up ice for an eventual bad angle shot from the left circle by Grzelcyk. The puck shot leaked through Petr Mrazek to give Boston the first goal for the second straight game.
“Nothing’s gone on either way with either team, which is what we want in the start of the game there, and that’s a tough one,” Brind’Amour said of the first goal.
The Bruins doubled their lead at the end of the first, turning a Williams penalty into another power-play goal.
After a point shot, Boston forward Jake DeBrusk got three cracks in front of the Carolina net, finally getting the third through after two stops by Mrazek to make it 2-0 with 88 seconds remaining in the opening period.
“We got off our game,” Brind’Amour said of the team’s reaction to the second Boston goal. “Give them credit, there’s a reason we got off our game. They’re playing their game, we haven’t gotten to ours.
From there, the rout was on.
Carolina’s second power-play opportunity at the start of the second period looked more like a Bruins’ man advantage, and the Bruins made it 3-0 just 37 seconds after returning to even strength. Boston took advantage of a broken play in the Carolina end, with Marcus Johansson finding defenseman Connor Clifton for an open-net goal at 3:46 of the middle frame.
Grzylcyk then got his second of the game after a spring pass on the Boston power play set up a 2-on-2, with Charlie Coyle dishing the puck to Grzylcyk. The Bruins defenseman cruised across the slot and backhanded the puck past Mrazek (19 saves) to give Boston a 4-0 lead at 17:56 of the second.
“Our PK, power play, 5-on-5 — everything’s kind of hasn’t been good enough,” Staal said.
Boston added more in third. Just 70 seconds in, David Backes picked up a loose puck in the Carolina crease for his second goal of the postseason and a 5-0 Bruins lead.
Then after another failed Hurricanes’ power play, Patrice Bergeron came out of the box and feathered a pass to Danton Heinen at 4:32 to extend the lead to 6-0.
Carolina’s only goals came in the final 10 minutes.
First, Williams redirecting a Justin Faulk shot past Rask at 11:17 of the third to make it 6-1. Then, Teuvo Teravainen stole a Rask pass with under three minutes left and fired the puck into an empty net at 17:32.
“It’s just, sometimes, it’s just tough,” Teravainen said after the loss. “You don’t get the bounces. I think we got a couple good looks, it was just a little off. We’ve got to figure it out.”
A return to Raleigh for Games 3 and 4 should help, even if the Hurricanes have built another mountain to climb.
“We certainly don’t think we can’t do it,” Williams. “But if they are to advance, we’re certainly going to make it as tough as we can on ’em, and it won’t be easy. So we’ll chew on it and Game 3’s ours, hopefully.”
Notes: Both Coyle and Krug finished with three assists for the Bruins. … The Hurricanes spread out their minutes played with the game decided early. Greg McKegg played the least among the forwards at 13:08 (just 82 seconds fewer than Staal), while Haydn Fleury played 15:37 (just 10 seconds fewer than his season high).