The Hurricanes took Monday’s Game 1 by a 5-1 score over the Bruins, but the game was closer than the score would indicate. The Bruins seemed nonplussed by their 1-0 series deficit, hoping that converting more Grade-A chances will lead to success.
Boston worked on their power play extensively during a Tuesday practice, but the team did not have a full morning skate Wednesday. The Bruins’ scratches extras and Nos. 2 and 3 goalies were on the ice, along with two who will play tonight — Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Linus Ullmark will again start for the Bruins, while Carolina made no changes to its lineups or lines ahead of Wednesday’s Game 2.
1. As mentioned in the notes portion of my Game 1 story, Teuvo Teravainen now has more career playoff goals (17) than playoff assists (16) after scoring what Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour called “a huge goal” in the third period Monday to restore Carolina’s two-goal lead.
Plenty is made about Teravainen’s propensity to pass instead of shoot, and rightfully so: In 526 career regular season games, the 27-year-old has 251 assists to 118 goals, or 2.13 assists per goal. Brind’Amour has often talked about trying to encourage Teravainen to shoot more because he has one of the best shots on the team.
“A very gifted player, as you know, but one of his gifts is he’s got a great shot,” Brind’Amour said Tuesday. “He just he’s very unselfish and he wants to make plays all the time.”
Teravainen must be doing something right because Brind’Amour’s advice on goal-scoring hasn’t come up of late.
“I haven’t heard that in a little bit, a while,” he said. “But yeah, sometimes. … I’ve kind of learned I’ve got to shoot once in a while.”
Teravainen — like us all — was also surprised to find out his playoffs goals have exceeded his assists.
“I didn’t know, it’s kind of weird,” Teravainen said. “Playoffs are a little different. You’ve to just score and put the puck at the net, and I guess that’s how it happens sometimes.”
In 10 career playoff games against the Bruins he has four goals, the most he has against any team. It’s something to keep an eye on in Game 2, but Teravainen isn’t overthinking it.
“Sometimes I’ve just gotta shoot the puck.”
2. Putting Teravainen on a line with center Vincent Trocheck and opposite Max Domi has given the Hurricanes more balance in the top three lines than they’ve had most of the season.
While Teravainen has usually been paired with Sebastian Aho — don’t worry, Finnatics, that will surely happen again at some point in this postseason — his addition to the Trocheck line has created a needed secondary scoring spark.
“I think we play pretty good as a line,” Teravainen said. “Just work hard, play a pretty simple game, I think, and whenever we get those little chances, we’ve been doing a pretty good job to score, too. That helps for sure.”
The line connected for two goals in the third period to secure the Game 1 win.
“He’s a really smart player, tons of skill,” Trocheck said of Teravainen. “So getting to play with him is a lot of fun. It’s fairly easy to do.”
The third wheel on the line, Domi, is a bit of a combination of Teravainen and Trocheck — a pass-first player who loves getting under his opponents’ skin.
“He’s been great,” Trocheck said of Domi. “He works as hard as anybody that I’ve played with. He plays physical, he separates guys from the puck on the forecheck and has a lot of skill at the same time.”
It’s made for a good combination.
“I think the way our line is built is kind of three different players, and we balance each other out pretty well,” Trocheck said.
And it sounds like they’re having fun too.
“Those two guys,” Domi said, “are a lot of fun to play with. … We had fun last game, just gotta keep building on it and be a big part of it tonight.”
3. Speaking of Trocheck, his goal in the third period was one of the more unique ones we’ll probably see this postseason.
The Hurricanes center came up the left wing and curled around Boston’s David Pastrnak. Just as he reached the goal line near the corner, Trocheck backhanded a shot that went off the side of Ullmark’s mask and in to end any chance of a Bruins comeback.
“That was obviously the goal they’d like to have back,” Brind’Amour said. “But it’s smart on his part to get it there. I don’t know if he was trying to bank it off his head or not, but at that stage of the game it’s nice to get an extra one.”
Trocheck said he didn’t remember much about the play, just that he was trying to get it on net.
“It’s a low-percentage shot,” Trocheck joked. “But it went in, so can’t be too angry about it.”
4. Neither the Hurricanes nor the Bruins scored on the power play Monday, with both teams going 0 for 3 — though one of Carolina’s “chances” was just seven seconds at the end of the game due to Trent Frederic’s antics.
“Power play is going to be key,” Hurricanes defensive Tony DeAngelo said Thursday morning. “I think the team that starts to click on it first is going to have success in the series.
“So we’ve got to just keep working away at it, keep getting pucks to the net. That’s where it’s gonna go in, right? It’s not going to be all these backdoor plays or whatever it’s going to be. So we just gotta keep firing.”
The Hurricanes know how dangerous the Bruins’ power play can be, especially if it gets in a groove. So does more 5-on-5 play tip the scales in Carolina’s favor?
“We always think we have an advantage. I think we’ve got a confident group,” DeAngelo said. “But I think that if we can get our power play going to where it should be, I think we’d like to have some 5-on-4s too. Just for our side, though.”
“I don’t want to be shorthanded,” he said. “That’s probably the only situation that I feel a little uneasy about. But we’re pretty good at handling any kind of situation.”
5. Brind’Amour said he found some time to watch some of Wednesday’s playoff games.
“Pretty exciting. It’s a great time of the year,” he said.
I followed up and suggested he probably doesn’t want his team in a triple-overtime game like the Penguins and Rangers played in their Game 1.
“Well, if we win I’ll be happy to take it.”