1. Stay Out of the Penalty Box
Before I get into this one, I need to preface it with a bit of a caveat. The Carolina Hurricanes are currently 8th in the league on the penalty kill. Boston is currently 2nd in the league on the powerplay. Do with that what you will.
The Boston Bruins, specifically David Pastrnak, are absolutely lethal on the powerplay this season. Of Pastrnak’s 25 goals this season, 12 have come on the powerplay. They are also lethal shorthanded, so that’ll be something to watch out for on the man advantage as well.
The Carolina Hurricanes absolutely cannot afford to take penalties against the Boston Bruins tonight. To do so repeatedly, as we saw this past weekend against Tampa Bay, will result in nothing less than a loss for the Hurricanes.
The kicker here is to not play into the Bruins’ (read: Brad Marchand’s) antics, and ability to get under the opposition’s skin. The agitation that Marchand brings to the ice, and the Carolina Hurricanes’ propensity to feed into it, were a huge reason the Canes were swept in the Conference Finals last season.
The Carolina Hurricanes will need to rise above, and play arguably the most disciplined game of their careers tonight in order to give themselves the best chance of winning. Now, onto the defensive side of things.