BostonBruins.com - The Carolina Hurricanes finally broke through on Thursday night. After being swept out of the Eastern Conference Final by the Bruins in 2019 and suffering a double-overtime loss to start this year's first round, it appeared that the Black & Gold might just have a big-brother advantage over the 'Canes.
But that idea changed in a hurry in Game 2 as Carolina countered with a 3-2 victory to tie the series at a game apiece. With the Hurricanes buoyed by some newfound confidence, the Black & Gold realize that it's now their turn to deliver a response as they look to regain control on Saturday afternoon in Game 3 (Noon, NBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub).
"I think it's pretty normal and pretty common to see as the series goes on, the intensity, the physicality, and the speed and pace of the games go up," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "I don't expect anything less as far as [Saturday goes]. I think it's just two good teams battling for every inch of the ice and both teams trying to win the games."
More notes ahead of a pivotal Game 3 between the Bruins and Hurricanes:
Pastrnak A Possibility
After missing Game 2 with an "unfit to participate" designation, David Pastrnak's status remains in question, though Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy did not rule out the winger for Saturday's Game 3.
"Pasta did not skate today, so I would say he could still possibly play [on Saturday]," said Cassidy. "But with a 12 o'clock game, no real opportunity to test it in a morning skate like your typical 7 o'clock game, would make it difficult. We'll make that evaluation in the morning."
Regardless of Pastrnak's availability, Cassidy revealed that he will be making lineup changes at both forward and defense.
"No, I do," Cassidy said when asked if he anticipates making any alterations to his group. "We had some guys go on the ice today. There's always the day-to-day bumps and bruises, so to sit here and tell you our lineup might be inaccurate because of that.
"But we'll be making some changes both at forward and D. Some of that is to get some energy in the lineup and change the look of our forward group."
Video: Cassidy addresses the media on Friday afternoon
Running it Back
Cassidy will not be making any changes between the pipes, as he "anticipates" Tuukka Rask will get the start for Game 3. Boston's bench boss said he did not take into account any of Rask's comments following Game 2, when the goaltender expressed feeling a lack of playoff atmosphere within the bubble.
"I didn't speak to him after his comments," said Cassidy. "I think the Boston media knows him well enough, he answers his questions how he feels. It is a unique environment, but to me there is playoff intensity on the ice. You've just got to control what you can control when you're a player and, in my situation, a coach.
"The way I look at it, at the end of the day, they're gonna hand out the Stanley Cup this year to someone, so we've got to play our best hockey if we want to be that team. That was our goal at the start of the year. We didn't anticipate that we'd end up in an environment like this, but here it is.
"You play the hand you're dealt, you prepare yourself. In my case, I prepare the team, in this case, to play Game 3 and play our best hockey game. There's where my focus is right now, plain and simple."
Video: McAvoy and Chara talk to media on Friday
Shoring Things Up
The Bruins were far from pleased with their puck management in Game 2, as some uncharacteristically sloppy play in their own end led to a number of defensive lapses and, eventually, Dougie Hamilton's game-winning goal midway through the third period. During a video session on Friday afternoon, the B's coaching staff made sure to identify the slipups.
"Our coaches do a great job of breaking down the film and showing us things we can work on and things we can try and do better in Game 3," said Charlie McAvoy. "That's what we're focused on, trying to internalize that today and get ready for [Saturday's] game…just trying to be crisp in our own zone, seeing our plays and making them.
"Today was an educational day for us and we're really excited for [Saturday's] game to get out there and put it to use and put our best foot forward."
Looking At Options
After a back-to-back to kick off the series, the Bruins held an optional practice on Friday afternoon in Toronto with 16 players hitting the ice, including Chara, Anders Bjork, Karson Kuhlman, Nick Ritchie, and Jeremy Lauzon, all of whom played in Game 2.
Among the others taking part in the session were Trent Frederic, Par Lindholm, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Connor Clifton, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Jaroslav Halak, Max Lagace, and Daniel Vladar.