NHL Sports

Eastern Conference Final Game 3 Preview: Hurricanes vs Bruins

Series: Bruins lead 2-0

Location: PNC Arena

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET; (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Overview:

Can the Hurricanes Bounce Back?

On Tuesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes will host their first home game of the Eastern Conference Final. In Game 2 the Boston Bruins dominated the Hurricanes 6-2 on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins outscored the Hurricanes 11-4 in the first two games. The Bruins are 4-2 on the road in the road and are on a five-game winning streak.

So far in the playoffs, the Hurricanes are undefeated at home with a 5-0 record. Despite being down 2-0, the Hurricanes are in a familiar situation. In the first round, the Hurricanes trailed the Washington Capitals 2-0 in the first round and bounced back to win the series in seven games.

Will Mrazek Start?

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour refused to say who will start in net tonight in a press conference. “I can’t be the guy who does that. Sorry.” Brind’Amour said. “Do we make a change? We might,” added Brind’Amour. “But that might be for different reasons than you guys think.”

Goaltender Petr Mrazek may not get his third straight start after allowing 10 goals on 52 shots (.808 save %)  in the last two games. Yesterday in practice Mrazek was in the starters net. But for now, no one will know who will start in the net until warmups.

His backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney may start between the pipes for the first time since May 3, when he led the Hurricanes to complete a four-game sweep against the New York Islanders. His total playoff record is 3-0, with a.947 save percentage and 1.56 GAA.

How The Canes Can Generate More Offense?

The Hurricanes were awful breaking out of their defensive zone. In Game 2 they struggled to create a scoring chance. They got to get stronger and faster if they want to put more shots on Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. During Game 2, the Bruins were leading 6-0 in the third period. The Hurricanes scored two quick goals afterward, but it was too late. Having a strong forecheck and scoring first is the key for success in this year Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Top Scorers

In Game 2, Sebastian Aho recorded an assist to extend his point streak to four games, which is the longest by a Hurricanes player this season. Aho and Teuvo Teravainen were involved 16 of the 38 goals this postseason (42.1%). Having those two involved in more can create more scoring for the Canes in Game 3.

Bruins Notes

Offense

The Bruins domination in these past two games proves they are the top contender for the Stanley Cup title. Their offense, defense, and goaltending have been all around impressive in Games 1 and 2. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk scored twice in Game 2 making him the player of the game.

Other players like Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle and Charlie McAvoy been stepping up. It shows that the team does not have to depend on the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak to light up the lamp. The Bruins showed how dangerous they can be with strong depth across their lineup.

Power Play

The Bruins power-play broke the Canes penalty kill. So far in the series, they are 4/7 in the man advantage. They were perfect 2/2 in Game 2. 

Defense

Charlie McAvoy has been the best defenseman so far in the playoffs. Grzelcyk stepped up when McAvoy was suspended for Game 1. The Bruins defenseman scored four goals in this series. They totaled eight goals in 15 games in the playoffs.

What’s more impressive is how they prevent the Hurricanes defense from scoring. In the last seven games, the Hurricanes defenseman has no goals. In the regular season, they led the NHL with 48 goals. Head coach Bruce Cassidy does a great job figuring out the Hurricanes aggressiveness on offense.

“Their ‘D’ pinch a little more so if you chip it behind them and your ‘D’ is part of the rush you can beat them up ice,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s typical of how Carolina gets their offense from their ‘D’. So if it’s there, take it.”

Cassidy Mocking Brind’Amour

When Brind’Amour refused to name the starting goaltender for Game 3 to the media. A journalist asked about Brind’Amour’s approach on not telling who the starting goaltender be, Cassidy fired back saying, “Ours is going to be Rask.”

It’s not a surprise that Rask is starting on the net. He is the top Conn Smythe Trophy candidate for the Bruins. So far in the playoffs, he is 10-5 with.937 save percentage, and 2.02 GAA.

Hurricanes projected lineup

Forwards

Andrei Svechnikov — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen

Nino Niederreiter — Jordan Staal — Justin Williams

Warren Foegele – Lucas Wallmark — Brock McGinn

Micheal Ferland — Greg McKegg — Saku Maenalanen

Defense

Jaccob Slavin — Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce — Justin Faulk

Haydn Fleury — Calvin de Haan

Starting Goalie

Petr Mrazek
Bruins projected lineup

Forwards

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — David Backes

Marcus Johansson — Charlie Coyle — Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner

Defense

Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk — Connor Clifton

Starting Goalie

Tuukka Rask

 

Featured Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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