3. Special. Teams. Please.
The Hurricanes went one-for-three on the powerplay in Game 1 and they went zero-for-four on the powerplay. The Bruins went two-for-five in Game 1 and the Bruins scored 100% of the time on the powerplay in Game 2, two-for two.
The Bruins are excellent on their special teams and the Hurricanes will need to win special teams or at least take the powerplay or penalty-kill advantage, if they want to win this game and this series. You can’t have a mediocre 5-on-5 and lose both special teams and expect to win.
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With the Washington Capitals, the Hurricanes had an inconsistent decent powerplay and penalty-kill, the Hurricanes had three powerplay goals while the Capitals had six powerplay goals. The Islanders powerplay went three-for-twelve and the Hurricanes only had one powerplay goal, for the entire Islanders series.
The Bruins have the best special teams out of the three series the Hurricanes have been in and the special teams will need to show up or five-on-five will have to be dominant and go up a steep hill. The Hurricanes are on a bad trend and Game 3 is a new slate, they may not be able to change the past, but they can control Game 3 and they can control if they win.
The Hurricanes lost the first two games to the Washington Capitals in the first round and they came back and won in seven games. The Boston Bruins are a taller task, but it’s definitely doable if the Hurricanes show up and play their best game. They have to win four out of the possible remaining five games to move onto the Stanley Cup Finals.
Question for CC Readers: Will the Hurricanes score a powerplay goal in Game 3?