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Hurricanes set to face Bruins in round one of Stanley Cup Playoffs

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The wait is over! The Canes know who they will play in round one, as they’ll square off with the team that ended their playoff run last season.

Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Four Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Five days after sweeping the New York Rangers in their Stanley Cup Qualifier series, the Hurricanes finally have an opponent for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it’s a familiar one.

After Montreal eliminated Pittsburgh Friday, we knew the Canes would be the top seed out of the qualifying round and face the fourth seed out of the round robin. We now know who that is, as, with a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals Sunday, the Boston Bruins will face the Canes in round one.

The Canes and Bruins are familiar playoff opponents, with this series serving as a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Final. This is the fourth time since the franchise relocated to North Carolina that the Canes will square off with Boston in the postseason. The Bruins knocked the Canes off in six games in the first round of the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Canes’ first playoff appearance after the move.

In the 2009 second round, the Canes took out the top-seeded Bruins on a game-seven overtime goal by Scott Walker, and, of course, last year, Boston ended Carolina’s storybook season with a sweep in the Eastern Conference Final.

Despite going winless in round robin play, the Bruins are not to be taken lightly. This is a deadly team in all facets of the game, as the Bruins finished with the top points percentage in the league in the shortened regular season.

For Carolina, the team will look to build on its first-round sweep of New York as it likely adds top defenseman Dougie Hamilton back to the lineup for the first time since January against the team that drafted him.

The two teams played just once this year, a 2-0 win by the Bruins in Beantown on Dec. 3, as two future meetings were wiped out by the NHL’s pause amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Canes square off with Boston for the second Stanley Cup Playoff series in a row, the team will look to win its fifth first-round series in five tries, as Carolina has reached at least the Eastern Conference Final in each of its last four playoff appearances (2002, 2006, 2009 and 2019).

Canes Country will have you covered leading up to game one with in-depth matchup and position breakdowns, but here’s some facts and figures on this matchup to tide you over in the meantime.

Be sure to also check Alec’s story from Friday ranking the Canes, at the time, two potential opponents.

Regular Season Record

Boston (44-12-12, 100 points, first in Atlantic, first in Eastern Conference, first in league)

Carolina (38-25-5, 81 points, fourth in Metropolitan, sixth in Eastern Conference)

Top Regular-Season Performers (goals-assists-points)

Boston

David Pastrnak 48-47-95
Brad Marchand 28-59-87
Patrice Bergeron 31-25-56
Torey Krug 9-40-49
David Krejci 13-30-43

Carolina

Sebastian Aho 38-28-66
Teuvo Teravainen 15-48-63
Andrei Svechnikov 24-37-61
Dougie Hamilton 14-26-40
Martin Necas 16-20-36

Goalies

Boston

Tuukaa Rask (Vezina Trophy Finalist) 26-8-6, .929 Save Percentage, 2.12 Goals-Against Average
Jaroslav Halak 18-6-6, .919 Save Percentage, 2.39 Goals-Against Average

Carolina

Petr Mrazek 21-16-2, .905 Save Percentage, 2.69 Goals-Against Average
James Reimer 14-6-2, .914 Save Percentage, 2.66 Goals-Against Average

Stats and Rankings

Offense

Boston 3.24 Goals Per Game (Ninth NHL)
Carolina 3.19 Goals Per Game (11th NHL)

Defense

Boston 2.39 Goals Against Per Game (First NHL)
Carolina 2.84 Goals Against Per Game (11th NHL)

Special Teams

Boston 25.2% Power Play (Second NHL), 84.2% Penalty Kill (Third NHL)
Carolina 22.3% Power Play (Eighth NHL), 84.0% Penalty Kill (Fourth NHL)