BOSTON - A rematch of the Eastern Conference Final brings the Carolina Hurricanes to Boston to face off with the Bruins.
The Hurricanes closed the book on November with a 3-2 win over the Lightning in Tampa on Saturday and open their December schedule, which features eight of the first 11 games on the road, in Boston.
In the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Hurricanes upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in seven games before sweeping the New York Islanders in four games. Then, in the Eastern Conference Final, the Boston Bruins swept their way into the Stanley Cup Final.
It's safe to say this game means a little more for the Canes.
"It's another game, but it's got a little more juice to it, probably, just based on last year and the fact that they're the top dogs," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It's a regular-season game we have to win. You look at where they are - they're the best team in the league. That, to me, is what's going on this year. Obviously, last year, they were the best team against us, too. It's going to be a big task, and we know it."
After losing in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins have responded as the top team in the NHL through the first two months of the regular season.
"It's nice to see where you stack up," Brind'Amour said.
Extra Special Teams
Winning the special teams battle is important on any given night, but especially against the Bruins, who rank second in the league on the power play (31.6 percent) and seventh on the penalty kill (84.5 percent).
"Their power play is the best of the best. No secret there. We know why," Brind'Amour said. "They've got good players out there, and they move it well. When you give them an inch, they take it, and it's in the back of your net. Staying out of the box is going to be crucial."
The Hurricanes' penalty kill ranks eighth in the league at 84.4 percent and is 34-for-37 (91.9 percent) in their last 11 games.
Remember, Remember No. 20 in November
Sebastian Aho registered 16 points (10g, 6a) in 15 games during the month of November. His 10 goals marked his most goals in one calendar month in his NHL career.
Aho enters Tuesday's game four goals shy of 100 in his career.
The Bruins, who rank first in the league with a 19-3-5 record and 43 points, are in the midst of a five-game homestand. The team is riding a seven-game winning streak, and the Bruins have yet to lose in regulation at home this season (11-0-4). Brad Marchand leads the team in scoring with 43 points (18g, 25a) in 27 games, while David Patrnak has scored a league-leading 25 goals in 27 games.
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