Hurricanes bully Bruins in 5-2 Game 2 win

Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter had two goals apiece, and Andrei Svechnikov's hit on Hampus Lindholm changed the complexion of the game and perhaps series

Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck celebrates a goal by Sebastian Aho on Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark during Carolina's 5-2 win Wednesday in Game 2 of their first round playoff series in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — Another injury to a Hurricanes goalie. A devastating hit by Andrei Svechnikov. Carolina’s rookie goalie getting into a shoving match with a future Hall of Famer.

Game 2 of Carolina’s first round series with the Boston Bruins had a bit of everything.

That included another win for the Hurricanes.

Carolina survived a first period injury to Antti Raanta and continued their dominance of the Bruins this season, jumping to an early lead and frustrating Boston in a 5-2 win in front of a crowd of 18,880 Thursday at PNC Arena to take a 2-0 series lead.

“A lot happened today, so it would be easy to go off the rails and start doing stuff that you don’t usually do,” said Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho, who had two goals. “So I think we did pretty good of just keeping going.”

The Hurricanes carried on without Raanta, who was knocked out of the game when Boston’s David Pastrnak collided with him at the 7:47 mark of the first period, and built a 3-0 lead after Aho scored his second goal of the night early in the second period.

But the Bruins tried to claw their way back, unsurprisingly led by captain Patrice Bergeron and their power play.

Bergeron whacked at a loose puck in front of Hurricanes rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov (30 saves), connecting on the second attempt to cut Carolina’s lead to 3-1 at 14:57 of the second and give Boston momentum.

Svechnikov quickly took it away.

Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm accepted a pass from partner Brandon Carlo and came around the Boston net only to be met by a vicious Svechnikov hit.

Lindholm was out on his feet, left holding the handle of his broken stick and trying to regain his faculties. He did not return to the game.

“I like the physical part of the game, but I feel bad for that guy,” Svechnikov said of the hit, one of a career-high nine in the game. “It was a pretty hard hit, and I was in that spot where I kind of have to hit it. I had time there and he didn’t see me, but I had to do that. But obviously I feel bad and sorry for him.”

When asked about the hit, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy took a long pause and said, “Well, it looked high to me, and that’s why he left the game. He has an upper-body injury. It was on time, certainly, but it looked high. (The referees) didn’t see it that way.”

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said, “To be effective, that’s kind of how he has to play. You never want to see guys get hurt.”

But Brind’Amour continued that thought to address Pastrnak’s collision with Raanta.

“I don’t like seeing our goalie taken out either. But one was legal, one’s not.”

Brind’Amour was then asked if he thought the Bruins —  who also went after Kochetkov, most notably 41 seconds after Svechnikov’s hit when Brad Marchand and Kochetkov received matching minors after exchanging slashes — were targeting Carolina’s goalies.

“What do you think?” Brind’Amour responded. “It can’t get any more obvious.”

The Hurricanes came out of the Svechnikov ruckus with a power play, and Nino Niederreiter scored at 18:52 of the second period to give Carolina a 4-1 lead.

Boston was called for 13 infractions in all, with 16 of its 28 penalty minutes coming after Svechnikov’s hit as the Bruins’ frustration grew.

“We’re not going to be pushed around, I guarantee that,” said Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who finished with three assists. “But I thought we did a really good job of being disciplined after the whistles. I thought we were staying out of the stuff they want to try to pull us into it, and we went to power plays instead.”

The Hurricanes’ power play answered the bell, scoring twice before going conservative in the third period with two defensemen.

The game started similarly to Monday’s Game 1, with Boston getting an early power play and controlling play. But then on the Bruins’ second man advantage of the first eight minutes, Pastrnak collided with Raanta.

The Hurricanes, with rookie Kochetkov in net, responded not with grit but goals.

Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal exploited Boston’s third pairing of Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton with a cross-ice pass that evaded both and found Jesper Fast for a one-timer and 1-0 lead at 13:03 of the first.

Just over two minutes later, DeAngelo shimmied at the blue line to create a shooting lane and his shot was redirected by Aho for a 2-0 lead at 15:30.

The Bruins then started their parade to the penalty box, and Aho struck for a second time by firing a power play one-timer past Linus Ullmark (29 saves) 70 seconds into the second period to push the lead to three and create a frenzy at PNC Arena.

Now the Hurricanes will need to replicate their first two performances as they travel to Boston for Games 3 and 4.

“We’ve just got to keep playing the same way,” DeAngelo said. “You’re going to head to Boston now and it will be a little bit of a jolt for them I’m sure with their home crowd.

“We’re gonna try to do the same thing as we’re doing.”

Notes: Niederreiter scored twice, adding a late empty-net goal, and now has three goals in two games this postseason. He had three goals in his previous 29 playoff games with Carolina. … Jaccob Slavin, who had two assists, is plus-6 through two games.