The Carolina Hurricanes are making it very difficult for themselves.
The Canes couldn’t stay outside the penalty box on Sunday and for a second straight game, they couldn’t beat the Boston Bruins in their first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins have had two straight games at TD Garden, winning 5-2 over the Canes in Game 4 to tie the series 2-2. They also did so without their top defender, Charlie McAvoy, who was placed under COVID-19 protocol hours before Sunday’s game.
The Bruins were already without defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who took a huge hit from Andrei Svechnikov of the Canes in Game 2 and was ruled out. McAvoy’s loss was another big hit, taking the power-play quarterback out of Boston.
But goaltender Jeremy Swayman gave the Bruins another game-winning effort in net and Brad Marchand had two goals and three assists as Boston continues to build momentum.
Game 5 will be played at the PNC Arena on Tuesday, where the Cannes picked up two wins to start the series beating Boston 10-3.
The Canes’ penalty killers got the job done for most of the first two periods on Sunday, locking the Bruins on a 5-on-3 power play in the second.
But the mistakes eventually burned the canes. Jake DeBrusk scored on the power play for the Bruins, clearing the puck off goaltender Antti Raanta and into the net with 1:16 left in the second period.
Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour challenged the goalie interference, but the decision was a good goal and therefore a late-game penalty against the Hurricanes. It quickly became a 5-on-3 when the Canes’ Sebastian Aho was called for a minor double for high sticking.
Given a second chance with a two-man advantage early in the third, the Bruins converted as Marchand scored.
Another decision favored the Bruins: Marchand’s goal was ruled one second to go on the 5-on-3, leaving 2:53 to go on Aho’s minor double.
The Canes got out of that jam, with help from the Bruins – Matt Grzelcyk was called for a high stick. But a David Pastrnak goal at 5:44 of the third made the lead 4-2.
Until the penalty shootout, the Canes looked in good shape Brett Pesce scored in the run for a 1-0 lead in the first, and Jordan Staal’s goal early in the second propelled the Canes into a 2-1 boy.
The Bruins scored their first goal after taking advantage of the latest home substitution. Line Patrice Bergeron converted against the Canes fourth line as Bergeron won on a face-off in the Caned zone and then beat Raanta to the post.
The Canes started stringing together good forecheck quarters in the second, which allowed the Bruins to work in their zone. But the string of penalties was too much for the Canes to overcome.