David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron each scored power-play goals to advance the Boston Bruins to the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a, 2-1, win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of their First Round matchup on Wednesday.
With the win, the B’s get to stay in the Toronto bubble and continue playing hockey at Scotiabank Arena during the COVID-19 pandemic for at least another four games.
Jaroslav Halak (3-1-0 in four games, 2.29 goals against average, .912 save percentage this postseason) made 23 saves on 24 shots against for a .958 SV% in the win for the Bruins.
Meanwhile, Hurricanes goaltender, Petr Mrazek (2-3 in five games, 2.08 GAA, .929 SV% this postseason) stopped 25 out of 27 shots faced for a .926 SV% in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 20-2 all time when leading a series 3-1.
Carolina fell to 10-5 all time when scoring first in a game when facing elimination.
David Pastrnak was a game-time decision ahead of Game 5, but took part in warmups as expected and was placed in his usual spot on the first line at right wing in place of Anders Bjork.
No other lineup changes were made by Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, for Game 5.
Andrei Svechnikov missed his second game of the series after being injured in Game 3 and remains out indefinitely for the Hurricanes.
The good news for Canes head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, however, is that Jordan Staal was still in the lineup for Game 5 after being hit and going straight down the tunnel in the third period of Game 4.
Boston’s list of scratches for Wednesday’s action included Bjork, Zach Senyshyn, Nick Ritchie, John Moore, Maxime Lagacé, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon, Trent Frederic and Karson Kuhlman.
Carolina’s list of scratches included Joel Edmunson, Jake Bean, Max McCormick, Svechnikov, Roland McKeown, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Clark Bishop, Steven Lorentz, Anton Forsberg and Alex Nedeljkovic.
At puck drop, Zdeno Chara tied Wayne Cashman for the 2nd most playoff games in a Bruins sweater (145). Ray Bourque is the franchise leader with 180 playoff games in a B’s sweater.
Bergeron (144 games) and Krejci (140) rank 4th and 5th, respectively.
Almost midway into the opening frame, Haydn Fleury (2) released a shot from the point that rang the far crossbar tucked in the net and came back out, causing everyone to be momentarily confused until the officials reviewed that the puck had, in fact, gone in and out of the twine.
Sebastian Aho (9) and Jordan Martinook (1) notched the assists on Fleury’s goal as the Hurricanes jumped out to the, 1-0, lead at 9:35 of the first period.
Moments later, the Canes were presented with the first power play of the game as Charlie McAvoy was penalized for hooking Warren Foegele at 15:15.
Carolina, however, couldn’t convert on the skater advantage as the B’s made the kill.
Entering the first intermission, Carolina led, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite trailing Boston, 9-8, in shots on goal.
The Bruins held the advantage in blocked shots (7-4) and faceoff win percentage (57-43), while the Hurricanes led in takeaways (2-1) and hits (17-8). Both teams had two giveaways aside.
The Canes were 0/1 on the power play, while the B’s had yet to see any action on the skater advantage after 20 minutes of play.
Pastrnak hooked Justin Williams and cut a rut to the penalty box at 1:49 of the second period, but the Hurricanes weren’t able to convert on the ensuing advantage.
Midway through the middle frame, Aho hooked Bergeron on a breakaway and was sent to the sin bin at 13:47, yielding a power play to the Bruins.
Late in the advantage, Krejci (3) was in the right place at the right time for a lucky deflection turned garbage goal from the doorstep for No. 46 in black and gold– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
Pastrnak (2) and Bergeron (4) had the assists on Krejci’s power-play goal at 15:16.
With 50 seconds remaining in the second period, Martinook roughed Ondrej Kase along the boards and crossed the line in the eyes of the officials– landing a roughing minor at 19:10 and presenting Boston with their second power play of the game.
The B’s wasted no time to convert and take their first lead of the afternoon with what became the game-winning goal from Bergeron (2) after No. 37 for Boston received the puck and twirled it from the edge of the trapezoid behind the goal line off of Mrazek and through the Carolina goaltender’s five-hole.
Pastrnak (3) and Krejci (6) collected the helpers on Bergeron’s power-play goal at 19:56 of the second period and the Bruins led, 2-1, entering the second intermission.
Through 40 minutes of play, Boston was in command, 2-1, on the scoreboard and, 22-18, in shots on goal– including a, 13-10, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.
The Bruins also led in blocked shots (10-8) and giveaways (8-4), while the Hurricanes led in hits (27-20) and faceoff win% (53-47).
Both teams had five takeaways each, while the Canes were 0/2 and the B’s were 2/2 on the power play.
Foegele was guilty of a hold against Charlie Coyle 44 seconds into the third period and presented Boston with another power play, but this time the B’s wouldn’t score.
In fact, nobody scored in the final frame of regulation as both teams managed a combined 11 shots on goal in the third period alone.
Joakim Nordstrom was sent to the box for interference at 3:18, but the Bruins killed off his minor.
Later, Williams tripped Coyle and was assessed a minor infraction at 7:58 of the third period, but once more Carolina made the kill.
With 2:13 remaining in the game, Brind’Amour pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker, but with 49.9 seconds remaining in the Hurricanes’ season, Brind’Amour was drawing up plans for a last-ditch effort at tying the game and (potentially) forcing overtime after using his timeout during a stoppage.
Time ticked down and the final horn sounded as the Bruins won, 2-1, and clinched the series, 4-1, in Game 5.
Boston finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal (27-24), blocked shots (17-10) and giveaways (10-7), while Carolina wrapped up Wednesday’s effort with the advantage in hits (33-27) and faceoff win% (54-47).
The Canes finished 0/3 and the B’s finished 2/4 on the power play as Boston advanced to the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs– awaiting the results of the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders series’.
The Bruins also improved to 2-2 in the 2020 postseason when trailing after one and 2-0 when leading after two periods. Cassidy also improved to 5-3 behind the bench in Boston when given the chance to finish a series.