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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins: Game 5 Preview

The series returns to Raleigh after the Hurricanes were taken off their game repeatedly in a pair of losses in Boston.

NHL: MAY 08 Playoffs Round 1 Game 4 - Hurricanes at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well, this certainly isn’t where Carolina Hurricanes fans wanted to be – or thought they would be – when the team returned to Raleigh.

After a pair of games that saw the Boston Bruins take full advantage of hauntingly familiar Hurricanes collapses, evening up the series at two games apiece, Game 5 tonight at PNC Arena has plenty riding on it. Yes, the Hurricanes still have home ice advantage, and can win the series by just defending their own barn, but momentum is clearly on the side of the Bruins and this game has significantly more riding on it than anyone on the Carolina side had hoped it would.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes have scored first in all four games so far in the series. However, that’s only translated to a first-intermission lead once, in Game 2. That makes a big difference; the Canes in the regular season were 39-4-6 when scoring first, but only 18-7-2 when tied after the first period.
  • Bruce Cassidy knew he had an ace to play by reuniting Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, which he did prior to Game 3. As expected, what’s been the best line in the league for years did their thing, totaling 16 points in two games. With the last change at home, you can expect to see plenty of Jordan Staal’s line out against the Bergeron line tonight.
  • Historically, what should you expect tonight? Well, the Canes are 5-2 all-time when playing Game 5 at home in a tied series. The Bruins’ game notes didn’t break their record down in terms of home vs. away, but they are 17-19 in Game 5 when a series is tied.
  • As he has been for the past couple games, Sebastian Aho is one point away from tying his coach in second place on the franchise playoff scoring list. I’m sure that’s one record Rod wouldn’t mind relinquishing given what’s at stake.
  • Yes, it’s plus-minus, but even given that this is nuts: Jaccob Slavin is a +8 in this series. No one else on either team is higher than +3, and nearly all of the Bruins’ roster is even or below (18 of 21 skaters).