BOSTON — The Bruins defeated the Hurricanes 4-1 at PNC Arena five days ago. On Tuesday, Carolina returned the favor by beating Boston by the same score at TD Garden.

Charlie McAvoy scored the only Bruins goal of the game, noting that the two games between the two teams wee what playoff hockey is all about.

“Just to put it into context, we just played these guys four days ago, so that’s playoff hockey. We beat them, and then we lost to them. That’s how a seven-game series works,” McAvoy said. “So, if there’s anything to learn about this or to use sort of in context, it’s that this is playoff hockey.

“This was the same thing with Florida except it was a week apart. But we’re going to see these teams again. It’s who’s going to be able to adapt and who’s going to be able to elevate from the beginning of the series to the end of the series.”

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After McAvoy scored in the second period, the Bruins trailed 2-1 heading into the final frame but the Hurricanes added two more goals, including one shorthanded to put the game away.

“I think we got them last time pretty good in their barn, seemed like they came ready to play. Have to give them credit; it was a tough-checking game to start,” Trent Frederic said after the loss. “… I don’t think we really played in the offensive zone too much.”

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The Hurricanes came into the game with the league’s No. 1 penalty kill at 86.2%. Carolina proved why it is so hard to score on while on the penalty kill. Boston went 0-for-3 on the power play with only three shots on goal.

“We didn’t win faceoffs,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery explained after the game. “So, at least, we have to carry the puck with an entry every time, and we don’t start with possession, so that’s the first part. We just didn’t make good execution plays.

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“All night, power play, five-on-five, we had a real tough time going tape to tape. Our execution on passing was probably our worst part of our game.”

As one of the top teams in the league, Jeremy Swayman knows other teams are still gunning for the Bruins with the postseason set to begin in two weeks.

“I think it’s good for us moving forward, understanding that no team is going to be soft on us just because we have four games left in the season,” Swayman said. “It’s our job to get punched in the face and get back up.”

The Bruins will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins are currently one point behind the Washington Capitals for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston is still at the top of the Atlantic Division with a three-point lead over Florida.

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Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images