Playing on short rest following a double-overtime loss in a delayed Game 1, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 2 on Thursday to tie the best-of-seven first-round series at 1-1.
The teams opened with inadvertent back-to-back contests after Tuesday's originally scheduled Game 1 was pushed to Wednesday afternoon. Boston and Carolina were set to play at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena, but the preceding game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning required five overtimes, extending into the Bruins and Canes' window.
Boston won Game 1 on a Patrice Bergeron goal 1:13 into the second overtime period, meaning the two clubs battled again barely 24 hours after competing for 82 minutes. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Boston would have to do so without winger David Pastrnak, who was ruled unfit to play.
That didn't seem to bother the Hurricanes as they evened the first-round series ahead of Game 3.
Dougie Hamilton, D, Carolina Hurricanes: 1 G (GWG), 24:20 TOI, 3 Blocks
James Reimer, G, Carolina Hurricanes: 33 saves, .943 save percentage
David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins: 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 SOG
Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins: 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG
Second Period Scoring Spree
How fickle is playoff hockey? One minute no one is scoring; the next everyone is. Well, make that four minutes and 42 seconds.
That's how long it took the Canes to go from down 1-0, to up 2-1, to tied at two goals apiece.
With less than five minutes remaining in the middle frame, both offenses capitalized on back-to-back-to-back opportunities with Teuvo Teravainen netting a power-play goal at 15:13. After the Bruins took a 1-0 lead at 15:41 in the first period, it seemed like the momentum had begun swinging back to Carolina's side.
That proved even more true 90 seconds later when Andrei Svechnikov scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 16:41 with an even-strength goal just as the Hurricanes got set up in the offensive zone. It was a perfect dump-and-chase that saw the puck move from the point to the half-boards then right to Svechnikov in the slot, who rifled one past Tuukka Rask for the lead.
The credit goes to Martin Necas for spotting Svechnikov sneaking in behind four Bruins defenders and delivering a perfect pass for an easy wrist shot.
Instead of continuing to build on the league, Carolina lost it only moments later.
Boston's Brad Marchand parked himself in front of the Canes' crease and punched in a rebound on the power play with 3.8 seconds left in the period. What could've been a massive boost heading into the third period turned out to be a bit of a gut-punch for Carolina.
What was nearly disaster for the Bruins had them going into the break with their biggest escape of the year.
Brind'Amour Keeping Quiet On Bench
Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour didn't really have much of a choice when it came to arguing with the officials Thursday.
He entered the game having just been fined $25,000 by the league for comments he made after Game 1, and the league threatened an extra $25,000 penalty for any additional disparaging of the referees. You can be sure he considered the financial hit at times during Game 2.
The Canes thought they took the lead early in the third period when a bouncing puck found its way past Rask after a scramble in the crease, but it was overturned for goalie interference. Brind'Amour immediately challenged and lost just as fast.
Carolina's coach is now 0-for-2 on challenges in the series with each failed appeal leading to a delay-of-game penalty. Still, that didn't come back to hurt the Canes on Thursday.
In fact, it seemed to have the opposite effect.
After killing the penalty, the Hurricanes came flying back on offense with former Bruin Dougie Hamilton creeping toward the top of the right face-off circle following a draw won in the offensive zone. By the time Boston spotted him, the puck was already on his stick for a quick one-timer that flew past Rask's shoulder.
The goal stood as the game-winner and will likely allow his coach to save some money in the meantime.
Game 3 between the Bruins and Canes is set for Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. The game is the first of the day on the Toronto ice, meaning it'll take something other than an overtime contest to delay Saturday's start time.