Antti Raanta, Seth Jarvis shine, Hurricanes top Bruins 5-1 in Game 1

The Carolina goalie made 35 saves in his first career playoff start

Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck celebrates his goal with teammates Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen and Brady Skjei during Carolina's 5-1 win Wednesday in Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Bruins in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — Despite winning a franchise-record 53 games in the regular season, the Carolina Hurricanes had questions entering their first round series with the Boston Bruins.

Could Antti Raanta be the No. 1 goalie Carolina needed while Frederik Andersen is injured? Was rookie Seth Jarvis, age 20, ready for the increased intensity of the postseason? Can Nino Niederreiter become a playoff performer? Would the Hurricanes’ penalty kill slow the buzzsaw that is the Bruins’ power play?


For one game, those questions were answered.

Raanta, making his first playoff start, survived a fast start by the Bruins and stopped 35 shots, while Jarvis and Niederreiter scored 130 seconds apart late in the second period to lead the Hurricanes to a 5-1 win in Game 1 of their series with the Bruins in front of a sellout crowd Monday at PNC Arena.

“The young guy looked fine, certainly didn’t look out of place,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Jarvis, “and Rants looked great. So check the box there, for sure.”

The Bruins were particularly dominant in the first 10 minutes, outshooting the Hurricanes 12-4 and creating chance after chance on Raanta.

“That was big for me — a lot of shots, a lot of action,” Raanta said of the Bruins’ fast start. “There was not enough time to think too much. So I just went out there and started to play.”

The Hurricanes’ penalty kill also got to work early, nullifying a delay of game call on Brady Skjei three minutes into the game to ease the fears of the home crowd.

“A big key. I think we killed a couple there,” Brind’Amour said. “It changes the game if you give up one there.”

Raanta and Boston goalie Linus Ullmark (20 saves) kept the game 0-0 with several good stops in the first half of the game. Carolina finally got to its cycling game in the latter part of the second period and took the lead.

A long shift in the Boston end by the Hurricanes’ top line resulted in the game’s first goal when Jarvis got to the front of the net and redirected a Jaccob Slavin point shot at 16:28 of the middle frame to make it 1-0.

“It’s just kind of embedded in me from a young age just to not be scared out there,” Jarvis, in his playoff debut, said. “And I think when you play scared is when you kind of make mistakes, and that’s when your game kind of falls apart.”

Carolina built on the lead just a couple shifts later when Niederreiter’s shot from the left circle and beat Ullmark to double the Hurricanes’ lead.

“It was a lot of net-front going on with Jordan,” Niederreiter said of linemate Jordan Staal screening Ullmark on his goal. “And it’s tough — when the big man’s in front, nobody sees anything. So I was just trying to get the puck to the net and luckily it went in.”

Brind’Amour also credited “the big man” with shutting down the Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, keeping the trio without a point in Game 1.

Boston got back within one when Taylor Hall scored 2:53 into the third period, but the Hurricanes responded when Vincent Trocheck set up Teuvo Teravainen to restore Carolina’s two-goal lead.

“That Teravainen goal was really big,” Brind’Amour said. “I don’t think we had much action going on and they were kind of coming. That settled it down a little bit the rest of the way.”

Trocheck added an insurance goal at 16:59 on a bad-angle shot, and Andrei Svechnikov put the icing on the cake with an empty-net goal with 2:01 left.

Now Carolina waits for Game 2.

“It’s only one game, one win,” Raanta said. “Now it’s just the regrouping and getting ready for Wednesday.”

Notes: Brendan Smith’s seven hits were the second most in any game of his career, only behind the nine hits he had against the Hurricanes in Carolina’s qualifying round-clinching Game 3 win over the Rangers on Aug. 4, 2020. … Teravainen now has 17 career playoff goals compared to 16 career playoff assists.