This is beginning to get tiring. This back and forth pattern of winning like a hero at home and losing like a completely different team at TD Garden is getting old. Although, if it continues, the Carolina Hurricanes will be victorious.
Let’s take a look at Thursday night’s loss and what’s in store for game seven at PNC Arena:
Broke the streak
For each of the first five games in this series, the Canes have scored first. That streak was broken last night, as the Bruins were able to strike first at the beginning of the second period.
“It would have been nice to capitalize,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “We had a couple of real-good looks and didn’t get them.”
While the results were staggering in this series even when the Canes did score first, it can absolutely change the momentum of the game for the team that does so, and it did just that for a Bruins squad that needed this win to stay alive.
Now, it’s the Canes who have to play for their lives.
“It’s still game seven,” said Jordan Staal. “Anything can happen. But we love playing at home in front of our fans. It’s a big boost for us, like you said with the way the series has gone. But we’re gonna have to obviously bring a better effort than tonight. It wasn’t us. It’s frustrating this time of year and series, but we’re going to have to wash it and get ready for a big game seven.”
Let’s get physical
The Canes win when they’re physicality is strong and they’re able to capitalize on hits at all points of the game. This was not the case last night, but the Bruins did just that. They’re a constantly physical, scrappy team, and allowing them to be that is a recipe for a loss.
The team is confident that they can change the result on Saturday, though.
“This is hockey,” said Jaccob Slavin. “This is the playoffs. We’ve got to go home and take care of the job. Obviously being home we get last change and it’s an advantage, but we’ve still got to come out and play. We have confidence in our group and the way we play, we’ve just got to do it.”
Special teams weren’t so special
The Canes had more than a few opportunities to turn the tide of this game, but they were often unable to convert. This was especially apparent during a 5-on-3 opportunity where the Bruins were still playing strong and the Canes could not generate a goal in a much-needed time.
“We have guys who know that they have to be better,” Brind’Amour said. “When you lose you lose. If you lose by 10 or one it’s a loss, and you’ve just got to move on.”
The Canes will have to improve their play overall to earn a win, but their power play is definitely an area to look into before game seven.
The one good thing to come from this game was the re-emergence of Andrei Svechnikov, and he came out rolling. While his physicality has been helpful throughout this series, Svechnikov is a playmaker and a scorer in his core.
Last night, he reclaimed that identity.
He was the only player to get on the board in the 5-2 loss, scoring for the first time in a long time. But one player having a good night is not enough.
“There’s a lot of things, but you need everybody for one,” Staal said. “You need everyone playing detailed hockey and limiting your mistakes as best you can. And obviously just trusting in our game. Those are all the things we faltered at tonight. We have to come out in game seven with an effort that we obviously need to beat this team.”
Don’t blame the goalie
It wasn’t Antti Raanta’s fault. None of it was. Bad changes and mistakes were what led to the Bruin’s scoring. Raanta did all that he could, but he didn’t stand much of a chance.
“You’ve got to convert, and we didn’t,” Brind’Amour said. “And they got that one where we made a mistake on the change, and they got it in the best player’s hands and he made us pay. And then we started chasing the game a little bit. Every mistake we made, it felt like they capitalized. They had that monster shift in the third when we got back in the game. We got the puck like four times, and that’s not how we normally do things. That’s what you get.”
Game seven. Saturday. 4:30pm. Raleigh, NC.
“You never know what can happen,” Brind’Amour said. “You just don’t know. Even tonight it’s a bounce here or there early and the game is different. That’s hockey. On their power play they rip one and we block it, and it goes right to their guy. You don’t know how it’s going to work out. But the good news is that we have another game to play.”
We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but if the Canes play like they have been at home, it’ll be a mighty fun game seven.