The Carolina Hurricanes’ penalty kill was at it again, allowing two more goals in the game one loss in Boston.
Statistically, the Canes’ PK is the worst of any of the conference finalists, now hovering just above 73% for the postseason. The Bruins took full advantage, tallying a pair of power-play goals, one of which would prove to be the game winner, 28 seconds apart in the third period.
The first of the two goals for Boston began with a fortunate bounce off of a linesman’s skate, preventing the puck from escaping to neutral ice.
Once Brad Marchand skillfully held the blue line, the Bruins got to work snapping the puck around the ice. A David Krejci slap-pass down low to Torey Krug draws both Lucas Wallmark and Brock McGinn into the slot, opening space for a return pass to Krejci and a subsequent feed to Marchand for a one-timer.
Wallmark and McGinn are cheating down to cover Charlie Coyle who is in a high danger area in the slot. When Krejci gets the puck back, Wallmark quickly recovers into Krejci’s shooting lane and forces a pass to Marchand.
Instead of stopping and starting on a direct path towards Marchand, McGinn takes a big, loopy angle to Marchand, following the puck more than closing on the man. That causes him to be a half second late getting into the shooting lane and the Bruins’ 100 point man gets the puck to the net where Marcus Johansson deposits the loose change.
The second Bruins’ power-play goal came on a tic-tac-toe play from Jake DeBrusk, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
DeBrusk makes a beautiful cross crease pass to Marchand who one touches it to Bergeron. DeBrusk’s pass is only possible because Jaccob Slavin is so low along the goal line, instead of on the top of the crease.
Earlier in the period on the penalty kill, Slavin expertly foresaw a wrap pass, cheated towards the boards and intercepted the pass and sent it the length of the rink.
On the Bruins game-winning goal, Slavin again foresaw the wrap pass and cheated towards the back boards, only this time DeBrusk made him pay.
With Brett Pesce tightly on DeBrusk, it’s understandable why Slavin would expect the wrap, but when it doesn’t come Slavin is too low to recover on Bergeron and the four-time Selke Trophy winner fires home a bouncing puck to give Boston the lead.
Regardless of whether the infractions were undisciplined or bad calls, penalties are going to happen and the Hurricanes have to find a way to better contain a lethal Bruins power play.