After winning Game Two of their second round match up with the Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes have stolen home-ice advantage. The Bruins won Game One 4-1, but Carolina rebounded to win Game Two 3-0 with an outstanding effort by Cam Ward, who was looking like his old self when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006.
Most people figured the Bruins would be a little rusty in Game One after having a nine day layoff as opposed to the Hurricanes who had just three days rest. Surprisingly, the Bruins came out flying and went on to win Game One. The rust looked like it had set in during Game Two though.
The Bruins came out slow to start Game Two and didn't really pick up their game until about midway through the third period. The Bruins definitely have to pick their game up if they want to win Game Three tonight, and here are the keys to victory.
1) Crash the net
In Game Two, the Bruins weren't crashing the net much until it was too late. If you want to get a goalie off his game, you have to go to the net and you have to go to it hard constantly. This is the only way your going to get Cam Ward off his game. If the B's can do this, I think they have a good chance at taking Game Three.
2) Pepper Ward with shots
While the Bruins were able to get 36 shots on Cam Ward in Game Two, most were either blocked on the way through or were weak wrist shots. They have to get good hard shots on Ward. If they can pick their spots, look for another Bruins win.
3) Fore-check all night
In Game One, the Bruins were fore-checking all night and what happened? They forced many turnovers, two of which turned into Bruins goals. In Game Two they weren't doing this much at all and that's why Carolina controlled the puck so much. If the Bruins can keep constant pressure on the Hurricanes then they'll be able to control the puck most of the night.
4) Top line has to start producing again
In Game One, the top line combined for three of the four goals. In Game Two, they were pretty much non-existent. The fourth line was the only one working hard. If the top line can start producing again it will equal a Bruins win.
5) Score first and early
The crowd in Carolina can be pretty hostile. If the Bruins want to take the crowd out of the game they, have to strike fast and early. The crowd will play a big factor and if they are out of the game it will make it much easier on the Bruins.
These are the five keys to success for the Bruins. If they can succeed on most of these then they will be able to win this game and take control of the series.