The NHL is set up with a strong slate of games on Thursday as the round of sixteen is underway. Four games will be up on the board, including Game 2 between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins. These two teams are coming off a strong Game 1 and will look to earn a huge win in Game 2. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
Carolina had earned a record of 38-25-5 throughout the regular season, which had them in sixth place of the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes met up with the New York Rangers in the Qualifying round, knocking them off in three games. Carolina took a tough Game 1 loss and will look to bounce back in this one.
The Bruins finished out the regular season with a record of 44-14-12, which had them in first place of the Eastern Conference. Boston lost all three games in the round robin, which had them drop to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins won their first game of the restart in Game 1 of this series and will look to build off of it.
These two teams had to play on Wednesday morning since their game was delayed due to the extended Tampa Bay and Columbus game. This will lead to a quick turnaround for Game 2 of the series, which will lead to these two teams being a bit tired. I expect both teams to try and set the pace early to get a leg up in this matchup.
These two teams only met up once in the regular season. Boston hosted the matchup on December 3. Charlie Coyle and David Krejci both scored in the third period to help give the Bruins the win. James Reimer stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced, but it was not enough. Jaroslav Halak finished with a 24 shot shutout to give Boston a 2-0 win.
The first game of this series was another great matchup. Joel Edmundson, Brock McGinn and Haydn Fleury all scored for the Hurricanes. Brad Marchand earned two assists, while David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist. Patrice Bergeron scored the game winner and added an assist to give the Bruins a 4-3 win in double overtime.
These two teams played two great matchups so far this season. They also met up in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, where Boston swept Carolina to move onto the Stanley Cup Finals. The Hurricanes are looking for some revenge in this series. Carolina will look to tie up this series with a big win in Game 2 to avoid a tough 2-0 deficit.
The Hurricanes had a strong special team showing throughout the regular season. Carolina finished with a power play percentage of 22.3 percent and a penalty kill of 84 percent. In the playoffs, the Hurricanes have a 14.3 percent power play success rate and a penalty kill percentage of 92.9.
Boston also had a great special teams throughout the regular season. The Bruins earned a power play rate of 25.2 percent, while stopping opposing teams on 84.2 percent of their power play chances. Boston’s special teams have not been as good in the postseason. The Bruins have not scored on the power play yet in the playoffs, while stopping their opponents on 83.3 percent of their chances.
These two teams finished out the regular season with strong power plays, but have struggled to get it going in the playoffs. The Bruins have not found the back of the net with a man advantage yet, while Carolina is not producing at a high rate. The Hurricanes will look to break through in this one, while continuing to stump Boston’s power play.
Petr Mrazek will get the start in the crease for Carolina in Game 2. Mrazek finished out the regular season with a record of 21-16-2. He put up a save percentage of .905 and a 2.69 GAA. In his three starts in the playoffs, Mrazek has a .940 save percentage and a GAA of 1.50. He will look to keep up the strong play as the Hurricanes look to turn the tides in this series.
Tuukka Rask will get the nod in net for Game 2 of this series. Rask earned a Vezina Trophy nomination this season as he went 26-8-6 throughout the regular season. He finished with a .929 save percentage and a GAA of 2.12. In the playoffs, Rask has put up a save percentage of .917 and a 2.55 GAA.
Mrazek played really well in Game 1 of this series stopping 36 of 40 shots and will look to build off of that. The Hurricanes will look to give him some support in Game 2 after getting outshot in Game 1. I expect Carolina’s offense to come out hotter in this one as they try to keep Rask and the Bruins on their toes. This could help give the Hurricanes a nice edge.
Game 1 of this series took two overtimes to decide on Wednesday morning. The Bruins were able to break through with a win, but I believe that Carolina will bounce back in Game 2. The Hurricanes have a dangerous team and kept it close with Boston all morning. Carolina will look to give Mrazek some support and break through on the power play to tie up the series.
BetOnline has the Bruins listed as a -140 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Bruins will win this game around 58.3 percent of the time. Game 1 was much closer, making this line seem wrong. The Hurricanes have looked good so far, while Boston has struggled to find their footing. I like Carolina to bounce back and earn a big Game 2 win.