BOSTON — If this was a potential preview of the 2019-20 Eastern Conference Final, then we’re in for a wild ride.
The Bruins welcomed the Hurricanes to Boston Tuesday in the midst of a seven-game win streak. And after two-plus scoreless periods, it was Boston that prevailed over Carolina at TD Garden with two goals in the final five minutes of the game.
Charlie Coyle and David Krejci accounted for the Bruins’ tallies. The Black and Gold now have won eight straight games.
This was the first time the two teams clashed since last May in the ECF when the B’s ended the Hurricanes’ Cinderella Stanley Cup run. And it was a hard-fought battle until the very end.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 24, while James Reimer denied 32.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 20-3-5, while the Hurricanes fell to 16-11-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
The game remained scoreless after the opening 20 minutes despite four power plays in the period.
Boston looked as it if might score the first of the night when Torey Krug teed up a shot with Pastrnak rushing down the boards, but it didn’t quite pan out the way it did all the way back in January against the Calgary Flames.
The B’s and Canes had two man-advantages apiece, with the visitors taking David Pastrnak’s roughing call into the second. Pastrnak and Warren Foegele got into in the Bruins’ zone before the top-line winger horse-collared his opponent to the ice with 1:26 left.
Both teams had some scoring opportunities, but Halak and Reimer stood tall stopping 10 and nine shots, respectively.
BACK-AND-FORTH (SCORELESS) SECOND
Momentum started to pick up and both teams went back-and-forth in what continued to be a fast-paced game. But it still remained scoreless after 40 minutes of play.
The Bruins caught a huge break in the first five minutes of the second in a scoreless game when a shot went through Halak’s five-hole but ricocheted off the post and out to keep the game 0-0.
Boston peppered Reimer halfway through, but the Canes netminder stood on his head and kept the game tied with 9:49 left in the period. Bruce Cassidy shook up the lines a bit and moved Brad Marchand with Danton Heinen and Charlie Coyle and DeBrusk with Pastrnak and David Krejci, but Carolina remained incredibly strong in front of its own net, clearing pucks before the Bruins had a chance to even get to them.
Jacob Slavin appeared to break the stalemate with 2:08 left with a nice sequence to break up DeBrusk and Pastrnak to sneak the puck pas Halak, but a quick review showed it somehow went through the netting and was ruled no-goal.
Gonna tell our kids this was a goalpic.twitter.com/kyuuM77aiG
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 4, 2019
The B’s held a 22-18 shot advantage heading into the third.
TWINE FINALLY FOUND
After 56 minutes of intense play and the goalies keeping their teams in the game, the Bruins finally figured out to light the lamp. Danton Heinen won the puck battle at the blue line and threw a long pass at the boards that Marchand got a hold of it and Coyle redirected it past Reimer to make it 1-0.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 4, 2019
But just 1:08 later, we had ourselves a two-goal game thanks to Krejci redirecting a blast from Charlie McAvoy.
And that’s how the B’s won eight straight games.
The B’s continue their homestand Thursday when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to town. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images