Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug and Connor Clifton combined for three goals and six points to help the Boston Bruins to a 6-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday.
The Bruins won their fifth straight game, matching their longest run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2013, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. It was the 14th time in Bruins history that defensemen combined for at least six points in a playoff game and first since Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers.
Krug had two of those points against the Rangers and had three assists Sunday. It was his second three-assist Stanley Cup Playoff game (Game 2, 2018 Eastern Conference First Round). He is the fifth Bruins defenseman with multiple three-assist playoff games, joining Ray Bourque (five times), Bobby Orr (five), Brad Park (three) and Carol Vadnais (two).
Grzelcyk scored two goals Sunday; it was his first multigoal NHL game in 155 combined regular-season and playoff games. The native of Charlestown, Massachusetts did it with his mother, Kathleen, in attendance at TD Garden, the building where his father, John, has worked on the changeover crew.
Clifton, chosen by the Phoenix Coyotes in the fifth round (No. 133) of the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first NHL goal in 29 combined NHL regular-season and postseason games. He became Boston's 19th different goal scorer in the 2019 playoffs, tying the team record for most in one playoff year set in 1988.
Video: CAR@BOS, Gm2: Clifton pads lead with first NHL goal
The Bruins won the first two games of a best-of-7 series for the 32nd time; they've won the series 24 of the previous 31 times (77.4 percent). Since the conference format was adopted during the 1981-82 season, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the conference finals are 30-2 (93.8 percent).
Hurricanes in familiar territory
The Hurricanes are no strangers going home to PNC Arena trailing a best-of-7 series 2-0. They were down 2-0 to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round before winning the series in seven games. The 2011 Bruins (conference quarterfinal, Stanley Cup Final) and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins (conference semifinals, Cup Final) are the only teams to rally from down 2-0 to win a playoff series multiple times, with each going on to win the Stanley Cup.
Sharks, Blues set for Game 2
The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues play Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at SAP Center on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). The Sharks are 7-2 at home during the postseason and are one win from tying their record for home wins in a playoff season.
San Jose will try to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 series for the 12th time. They are 9-2 the previous 11 times, but those two losses came when they had home-ice advantage (2014 first round, 2006 conference semifinals).
St. Louis hopes to tie the series 1-1 for the 14th time after losing the opener before returning to Enterprise Center for Games 3 and 4.
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