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Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 Preview: Hurricanes vs Bruins

Series: Bruins lead 3-0

Location: PNC Arena

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

Overview:

Tonight the Boston Bruins will attempt to sweep the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. If they win Game 4 at PNC Arena, it will be the third Stanley Cup Final appearance in nine seasons. If they clinch the Stanley Cup Final, they will join the Chicago Blackhawks as the only team in this decade to reach the Stanley Cup Final three times. The Bruins last Stanley Cup Final was in 2013 when they lost in six games against the Blackhawks.

Rask and the Bruins Defense

Right now the Bruins are on a six-game winning streak. A big part of the winning streak is goaltender Tuukka Rask. In the last six games, Rask had a 1.50 goals-against average and.956 save percentage. The Bruins defense is making Rask’s job easier by clearing the traffic in front of the net. Carolina’s offense is having trouble creating chances throughout the series because of Bruce Cassidy’s defensive tactics.

Starting Strong

PNC Arena has been a tough place to play for away teams. The Bruins broke their undefeated home record by winning 2-1 in Game 3. The Hurricanes started strong in the first period shooting 20 shots on Rask. Rask had to face the Hurricanes power-play four times in the first period. Luckily Boston got out of the first period with a 0-0 score. Expect the Hurricanes to have a strong first period.

Can The Hurricanes Force Game 5?

The Hurricanes will try to force Game 5 at TD Garden tonight. The last time the Hurricanes got swept was the 2009 Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour announced that he will “probably” start goaltender Curtis McElhinney for Game 4. In Game 3, McElhinney stopped 29 out of 31 shots.

Hurricanes Special Teams

The Bruins have been all over the Hurricanes power play being a 5-for-12 power play in this series. The Hurricanes are 1-for-12 in the power-play. Sebastian Aho’s power-play goal in Game 1 was their last and only goal in the series. They did not score in the man advantage when they had four power-play opportunities in the first period of Game 3.

Hurricanes Offense

The offense is having trouble breaking Tuukka Rask and the Bruins defenseman. The offense struggles to break it out of their own zone and transition to offense. Forward Sebastian Aho is on a five-game points streak (3 goals, 4 assists). Overall, the team had a better showing in Game 3 but did not win at home. Tonight could be the last game of their memorable season. They surprised a lot of spectators being a wild-card team reaching to the Eastern Conference Final. 

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

Curtis McElhinney
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 — Noel Acciari

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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