The Bruins traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina Tuesday for game three of their seven-game series with the Carolina Hurricanes. After a dominating 6-2 Mother's Day win at TD Garden, the B's took a strong hold of the Eastern Conference Finals, allowing just four goals while scoring eleven in two games before heading south for games three and four. Entering Tuesday, the Hurricanes had yet to lose on home ice in the 2019 playoffs, and they looked to maintain that perfect record against Boston in an attempt to fight their way back into the series.
Weathering the Storm
With their season on the ropes it wasn't a shock when the Hurricanes opened game three at PNC Arena with ferocious speed. If it wasn't for the early play of Tuukka Rask, Carolina would have taken the lead early in the game.
Boston took six penalties in the first to Carolina's four. Two sets of matching calls sent Torey Krug and Justin Williams and Krug and Saku Maenalanen to the box on two different occasions. Williams was called for three separate penalties in the period, this coming after a game two incident with Brad Marchand when the 'Canes captain was lured into taking an undisciplined penalty that was not in line with his generally "cool demeanor".
There was no score after one period of play, with Carolina outshooting Boston 20-6.
A Better Start
After an unproductive first period, the Bruins came out ready to play in the second, with the fourth line showing up in a big way.
It would be Sean Kuraly who would get the puck to Joakim Nordstrom who fed Chris Wagner back door to beat goaltender Curtis McElhinney just 1:21 into the period.
The scoring would continue when Boston was awarded a power play 3:26 later when Nino Niederreiter was called for high-sticking David Krejci. In the final 30 seconds of the man-advantage, Marchand would make a nice move to the high slot before backhanding a shot on net. The puck would tip off the glove of 'Canes defenseman Calvin de Haan before squeaking through the legs of McElhinney.
In the minutes following the goal Rask was forced to come up big on a cross-crease play to Hurricanes' star Sebastian Aho. As the puck was moving right to left, Rask transitioned into a old school pad-stack, getting himself in front of the Aho attempt to keep it a 2-0 game.
A Crack in the Armor
Only minutes after that save, Rask would eventually concede, letting up an uncharacteristically weaker goal to de Haan who received the puck at the left point on the faceoff, and blasted a one-timer with no traffic, through the legs of Rask as he was falling to the ice.
The score would remain 2-1 to end the period, with Boston taking the massive edge in shots 18-6, a change in pace from the first period. Total shots through 40 minutes favored Carolina by a margin of 26-24.
Shutting the Door
Both Boston and Carolina would take a single penalty in the period, with no goals resulting from either opportunity. With de Haan in the box for tripping, it looked as though the Bruins would extend their lead to 3-1, but it would eventually be ruled that Jake DeBrusk interfered with McElhinney in front of the net as a shot from Krug flew past the Hurricanes' netminder and across the goal line.
Rask would continue to stifle every Carolina opportunity that came his way, sucking up pucks and preventing second-chance attempts. The Hurricanes would outshoot the Bruins 10-7 in the period, but they would fail to solve Tuukka Rask to tie the game.
Final Score: Boston 2 / Carolina 1 - Boston leads the series 3-0.
Game four in Carolina is set for Thursday, May 16th. Puck drop is at 8pm EST.
Photo Credit: (Boston Bruins via Twitter)