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Conference Final

Hurricanes shift focus to Game 2, won't dwell on loss to Bruins

Feel if they get back to their game they can even Eastern Conference Final

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Senior Director of Editorial

BOSTON -- The Carolina Hurricanes aren't interested in rehashing their 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden on Thursday.

Coach Rod Brind'Amour doesn't want to talk about the penalties they took or the ones against them that may have been missed. He didn't want to hear about scoring chances gone awry or the stellar play of Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.

"You've got to move on," Brind'Amour said Friday. "That's it, I'm already past it. When I walk out the door, I'm not even thinking about last game."

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

The players have taken the same tack.

The Hurricanes lost the first two games of the first round to the Washington Capitals, the defending Stanley Cup champion. They won four of the next five to advance.

In the second round, they trailed the New York Islanders by a goal after two periods of Game 2 and had just lost starting goalie Petr Mrazek to a lower-body injury. Backup Curtis McElhinney entered, stopped each of the 17 shots he faced, and the Hurricanes rallied for a 2-1 victory that propelled them to a sweep.

"It's good that we have been in this situation before," forward Sebastian Aho said after the game. "We were down in Washington, so it is all good."

Thursday was Carolina's first loss after six straight postseason victories.

"We said all year long this season that we expect to win every night, so it's frustrating when you don't," Brind'Amour said.

The Hurricanes believe if they can get back to their game -- a relentless forecheck combined with an opportunistic offense, a commitment to discipline and suffocating defense in their own zone -- it will translate to victory in Game 2 here Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The proof, they say, is in the first 40 minutes of Game 1. They were down 1-0 on a goal from defenseman Steven Kampfer 2:55 into the first period, but rallied for two goals, by Aho and Greg McKegg, and then turned up the defensive pressure and frustrated the Bruins in the second period.

"That was a good period for us, and their goalie made some good saves," forward Teuvo Teravainen said about Rask, who made 29 saves, 14 in the second period. "That is the game we want to play, for sure."

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm1: McKegg scores after driving the net

There certainly were positives.

The Hurricanes were the dominant team during 5-on-5 play for much of the first 40 minutes. Boston's top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were held mostly in check at even strength, although Bergeron scored the eventual winning goal on the power play and Marchand had two power-play assists.

Two of Carolina's young players were not intimidated by the stage. Aho, 21, scored a goal and had three shots, and Andrei Svechnikov, a 19-year-old rookie, assisted on Aho's goal and added spark to the first power-play unit. Mrazek returned from a 10-day injury layoff and was strong, making the save on 17 of the first 18 shots. He finished with 23 saves.

"Heading into the third period in a 2-1 game and we are up, and we haven't played our best hockey yet," McKegg said. "We just have to lock it down better and get back at it Sunday."

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm1: Bruins net two quick PPGs for lead

Brind'Amour expects they will do just that; lock it down and be better Sunday.

"From Day 1 it has been about the next game, the next shift, the next day," Brind'Amour said. "The focus has always just been do what you do right and try to do what you can control and then move on, good or bad.

"It's always about the next step. That's what I expect our guys to do. We'll probably be saying the same exact things after the next game. Hopefully it will be in our favor, but we will be moving toward Game 3 right away."

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