‘Sluggish’ start sinks Hurricanes in 4-1 loss to Bruins

Boston scored three times in the first 11 minutes

Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov hurdles Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman during Carolina’s 4-1 loss Thursday at PNC Arena. (PJ Ward-Brown / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — The Hurricanes gave up three goals in the first 11 minutes and never recovered, losing 4-1 to the visiting Bruins on Thursday at PNC Arena. Jake Guentzel scored the lone goal for Carolina, which is now 47-22-7 with 101 points on the season — five behind the Rangers for first in the Metropolitan Division with six games remaining.

Three observations

1. The Hurricanes’ flat start after a four-day layoff ultimately doomed them. While Carolina was able to create chances in the offensive zone early, the defensive coverage in the first period was dreadful.

Brad Marchand scored on a breakaway just 2:12 into the game, his 400th career goal and the first of several breakdowns that led to the Hurricanes trailing 3-0 just over 10 minutes into the game.

“I think we were sluggish to start,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’amour said. “We weren’t ready for that pace, and I think that’s on me, just knowing that we took these last four days was more mentally getting away and we weren’t ready to get to it.”

Sebastian Aho said using Carolina’s four-day break “would be just an excuse” for the team’s slow start.

Jesper Fast agreed.

“That’s no excuse,” he said. “I mean, that first period is not acceptable.”

2. The Hurricanes’ special teams tried to drag the team back into the fight. After Andrei Svechnikov was called for a four-minute high-sticking penalty just before the midway point of regulation, the penalty kill allowed just two shots on goal.

Carolina then got a prolonged 5-on-3 later in the period and coverted, with Guentzel batting the puck in from the side of the net for his 25th goal of the season and third since being traded to the Hurricanes.

“Those are big kills,” Aho said. “Obviously, it would be four- or five-nothing if you don’t kill those. So that’s huge. And obviously got a power power play goal as well.”

3. Jesper Fast returned to the lineup for the first time since March 19 after missing six games due to injury.

“I haven’t played in a while, so good to be back out there,” Fast said. “Of course, not the result I wanted for the team, so just gotta reload and get ready for tomorrow.”

Fast played 10:20 — including 54 seconds shorthanded — and was tied for the team lead with three hits.

With Fast back in the lineup, the Hurricanes scratched Jesperi Kotkaniemi — the first time this season he has been out of the lineup.

Number to know

3 — Fighting majors for Jack Drury this season, the third most in a season by a Hurricanes player since the 2016-17 season. Micheal Ferland had six fighting majors in 2018-19, while Brendan Lemieux has four this season.


Jack Drury, Hurricanes center — In a first period that had nearly no highlights for the Hurricanes, Drury tried to fire up his team with an energized shift that ended with a scrap against fellow fourth-line center John Beecher. Despite giving up four inches and 32 pounds, Drury won the fight, landing a finishing blow to the side of Beecher’s head, and then turned toward his bench and enthusiastically clapped to try to get his teammates into the game down 3-0.

“His line was our best line,” Brind’Amour said. “They should’ve played more, really. They were somewhat effective. They play hard, they do it right. It was a good game for their line.”


Seth Jarvis, Hurricanes forward — Jarvis has been on an unbelievable tear, but Thursday wasn’t his night. For the first time since the line was formed, the trio of Guentzel, Aho and Jarvis were scored upon — twice — including on a miscommunication between Jarvis and Brent Burns that allowed David Pastrnak to approach Frederik Andersen (26 saves) unimpeded for Boston’s second goal.

With just over 7:47 left in the third period, Jarvis finally got his first shot attempt of the night, a shot from the high slot that sailed over the net. After Hampus Lindholm’s empty-net goal, Jarvis finished minus 3 — the first time he’s done so since New Year’s Day 2023.

They said it

“He’s got to figure it out.”

— Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour on Andrei Svechnikov, who was called for a four-minute penalty for high-sticking, his ninth game in the last 15 with a penalty.