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Canes Turning the Page

Game 1 loss snapped Canes' six-game postseason winning streak

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

BOSTON - In the every-other-day rhythm of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a two-day layover between games is a jarring oddity.

"I don't like sitting in hotels for two days," Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said on Friday.

Any small break is a welcome reprieve, though, especially for the Hurricanes, who played 11 playoff games in a 23-day stretch through the first two rounds before earning nearly a week's hiatus prior to the beginning of the Eastern Conference Final.

Then there's the temptation to stew over the results of Game 1, a 5-2 loss that got away from the Hurricanes early in the third period.

But, reimagining Game 1 is a fruitless endeavor.

"Good or bad, it's always about the next step," Brind'Amour said.

2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

There was some good in Game 1. The Hurricanes fought through an early deficit to tie the game in the first period. Their power play, which had converted at just a 10.5 percent clip coming into the series, was responsible for that game-tying goal, and it took just three seconds to make it happen. The Canes built a lead in the second period, and their penalty kill passed two tests.

"I think that's what the guys are feeling confidently about, that they can do that again," Brind'Amour said.

Video: Brind'Amour: "Don't understand how big this stage is"

There was some bad in Game 1. The Canes got into penalty trouble early in the third period, and whether the calls were warranted, the penalty kill still had to be up to the task. Instead, the league's best postseason power play struck twice in a 28-second span to put the Bruins ahead. Momentum was on their side, the Canes were on their heels and that was that.

"We were right there. Just an unfortunate start of the third and we let it go," Dougie Hamilton said. "Hopefully we can get one tomorrow and go back home with a split."

"We've got to kill penalties when we take them, and we didn't last night at a crucial time," Brind'Amour said on Friday.

Game 2 is the next step.

"A large chunk of that game was really positive for us. Really, a small fraction that wasn't very good," Brind'Amour said. "At the end of the day, it's 1-0 them, right? So, you move on."

Video: Calvin de Haan: "Some positives we can take"

Sure, the players and head coach had to revisit Game 1 and its pivotal moments just minutes after the result was final. Sure, there was a snapshot here or a what if there that rumbled around in the minds of the Canes later that night - like Jordan Staal's boarding minor against Chris Wagner that he couldn't get out of his head, especially considering the Bruins tied the game on that ensuing power play. Sure, the players and head coach had to give second and then third opinions on Game 1 in the days that followed, another unfortunate side-effect of that two-day gap in between games.

But, as soon as the siren signaled the end of the contest at TD Garden on Thursday night, the Hurricanes' focus turned to Game 2.

The loss was the Hurricanes' first in nearly three weeks; they had won six straight postseason games after getting trounced 6-0 in Game 5 of the First Round in Washington.

Dwelling on it, though, is of no use. It's a best-of-seven series, and the Hurricanes have been here before.

Video: Rod Brind'Amour: "We've got to move on"

"We've said all along this year that we expect to win every night," Brind'Amour said. "It's frustrating when you don't, but I don't think it's going to hamper anything we're doing going into the next game."

So, chapter one of the Eastern Conference Final is finished. The Hurricanes have turned the page.

On to the next one. What does chapter two have in store?

"Why would you be worrying about the last game? All year we've just focused on the next game and the next shift," Brind'Amour said. "If it's good or bad, it doesn't matter. It's what's in front of you that matters."

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