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Game 2 Recap: Canes Come Up Short in Boston

Canes in 2-0 series hole after 6-2 loss in Game 2

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

BOSTON - The Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a two-game hole in the Eastern Conference Final after suffering a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2.

The Bruins scored six straight goals to take a sizable lead in the first two periods, while a pair of third-period markers helped the Canes avoid a shutout.

Here are five takeaways from Game 2.

1. Not Their Afternoon

Captain Justin Williams summed up a rotten afternoon in 44 words:

"Sometimes you've got to eat a poop sandwich. It doesn't taste good, but you have to chew on it for a little bit. We'll have to do it for a couple of days and get the taste out of our mouth the next game."

That's about it.

Video: Justin Williams: "I'm disappointed"

The Hurricanes have really yet to establish their game in this series, while the Bruins elevated theirs from the first to the second game.

"They're playing solid hockey, but in general as a group, we haven't done a good enough job of grinding them out," Jordan Staal said. "We've got to find our game."

2. A Better Start & a Tough Ending

The Hurricanes' start in Game 1 showed signs of rust. Their legs were a bit sluggish, and they weren't up to the pace they had played at through the first two rounds of the playoffs. That was somewhat to be expected, considering the near weeklong gap in between games. To their credit, the Canes fought through their early lethargy to settle into what was, all things considered, a pretty good period.

The Hurricanes' start in Game 2 was markedly better. The Canes played with a physical edge, punctuated with a pair of heavy hits. Micheal Ferland lined up Matt Grzelcyk and flattened him right in front of the Bruins' bench. Later, Justin Faulk upended Sean Kuraly with an open-ice hip check.

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm2: Faulk knocks Kuraly to the ice

Momentum generated with the physical start, though, seemed to dissipate with the team's first power play. Faulk had the lone shot on the man advantage, a snap shot from 58 feet out, and the second power-play unit failed to materialize any sustained zone time.

Less than 90 seconds after killing that tripping minor assessed to Zdeno Chara, the Bruins took the lead on a shot from Grzelcyk that slipped through Petr Mrazek.

"The first one was no good. [Mrazek] knows that," Brind'Amour said, adding that he hadn't yet spoken with Mrazek, who would agree with his assessment. "That's a tough one."

"I wasn't happy about the first goal," Mrazek echoed. "Obviously, I have to have that."

Late in the period, on the Bruins' first power play of the game, Jake DeBrusk won a battle at the top of the crease to locate a rebound and give his team a 2-0 lead with 88 seconds left in the first.

"We got a little frustrated after the second one went in, I think. We weren't very good after the last five minutes of the first and throughout the rest of the game," Brind'Amour said. "We got off our game. Give them credit. There's a reason we got off our game. They're playing their game, and we haven't gotten to ours."

3. Coming Unraveled

In a 2-0 deficit after a period of play, the Hurricanes weren't in an unsurmountable hole, but Boston smelled blood.

The Bruins were patient with the puck early in the third period, forcing Mrazek to overplay an initial scoring opportunity. Then, Marcus Johansson slung a pass over to Connor Clifton, who buried it in an open net to stretch the Bruins' lead to three.

And that was about that.

Video: CAR Recap: Williams, Teravainen score in Game 2 loss

"Now we get away from even trying to do what we want to do," Brind'Amour said. "We have zero success when we do it that way. Tough night."

Grzelcyk's second of the game, another power-play tally, made it a 4-0 game before the second intermission.

"Our 5-on-5 play isn't good enough, and our special teams isn't good enough. It's just all around everything," Staal said. "Everyone has to chip in. Everyone has to grind harder. Everyone has to be more desperate if we want to win games."

Brind'Amour and his coaching staff went the entire regular season without making a mid-game goalie change, the first time in franchise history that's happened. It only then occurred in Game 2 of the Second Round because Mrazek tweaked a lower-body injury.

It's not been in Brind'Amour's coaching repertoire to yank a goaltender, and that wasn't going to change on Sunday.

"We talked about it," Brind'Amour said. "He doesn't want to come out. He's a battler."

And it's way too early to wonder about Game 3.

"We've still got to let this one digest and little bit and move forward," Brind'Amour said.

4. Getting on the Board

At the very least, goals from Williams - a redirection in the slot off a point shot from Justin Faulk - and Teuvo Teravainen - a gift from Tuukka Rask, whose clearing attempt landed right on Teravainen's stick for the easy empty-netter - serve as consolation prizes for a Hurricanes team that otherwise couldn't generate much of anything offensively.

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm2: Williams scores on redirection in 3rd

Perhaps, two straight goals that stalled a run of 10 straight goals for the Bruins dating back to the third period of Game 1, will be a sliver of momentum to build upon as the series shifts to Raleigh.

"We haven't got to our style yet. They've done a good job of slowing us down and slowing our forecheck down," Staal said. "We have to do it better if we want to get a win."

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm2: Teravainen capitalizes on Rask's miscue

5. Flush It & Move On

The Hurricanes have been here before.

In the First Round, the Hurricanes faced a 2-0 series deficit heading home for Games 3 and 4. They won both of those before getting whacked in Washington in Game 5 in a 6-0 final. After that? The team rattled off six straight wins.

"We've got to rediscover who we are," Williams said. "Our identity hasn't been established in this series."

The Hurricanes will digest this one, as rotten as it tastes, and turn their attention to Game 3.

"Whether you lose 1-0 or 2-1 in overtime or 10-0, it really doesn't matter, you know?" Brind'Amour said. "It's about the next game. We're still alive."

Up Next

The Hurricanes are a perfect 5-0 at home in the postseason. Games 3 and 4 are set for Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, at PNC Arena.

"We just haven't found our game yet," Teravainen said. "It's still early in the series. We've got to go home now and battle through."

"We still feel confident that we can win at home," Staal said. "We're going to go into that building, do what we do best, give it all we got and find a way to get a win."

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