This was a long way away from being the Carolina Hurricanes’ best game of the season. They were sloppy on the powerplay, they were sloppy on the penalty kill, and they couldn’t support their netminder at all. This isn’t to say Pyotr Kochetkov had his best game in his young NHL career, but expecting a rookie netminder playing in his fourth career playoff game to hold the fort in TD Garden against the Boston Bruins.
From the opening draw, this looked like it could have been game footage from the first two games. Carolina strikes first despite having an awful start and having to kill off a couple of early penalties. But this was the game Boston finally made the Hurricanes pay for being sloppy at the beginning of games. Carolina was not playing the way we knew Carolina can, and they just couldn’t finish the chances it was creating.
We can talk about this all we want, but at the end of the day, Carolina still controls the series maintaining a 2-1 series lead and having home ice regardless. This does mean that no matter what, there will be a game five at PNC Arena. All the Canes need to do is defend PNC Arena and the Bruins will not be able to overcome them. Doing that if they play the way the team did in this game is going to be a mammoth task.
Boston is a tough place to play and it’s a building that has haunted this organization going back to the days of the Hartford Whalers. We knew that this would not be a four-game series, Carolina was going to lose at some point. It’s much more encouraging that they lost when they played poorly than losing because they were just outmatched. We know that Carolina can dominate this Bruins team.