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The Carolina Hurricanes failed to close out their first round series against the Boston Bruins tonight, falling 5-2 in Game 6.
The Hurricanes came out pretty strong in the first period, outshooting the Bruins 11-6 at even strength at 11-8 overall. However, neither team could convert and the game remained scoreless through 20 minutes.
Boston struck just 46 seconds in the second period to open the scoring though, with Brad Marchand driving down the wing and ripping an excellent wrist shot past Antti Raanta. The Hurricanes had some great opportunities to tie it after that, with Boston taking four penalties, but Carolina squandered the chances and didn’t even generate many good opportunities with the man advantage. Then when Boston finally got another power play opportunity of their own, Charlie Coyle capitalized, burying a loose puck that came off a block by Ian Cole. As a result, the Bruins took a two-goal lead into the second intermission.
Carolina pulled back to within a goal only a few minutes into the third period, as Seth Jarvis found Andrei Svechnikov with a pass in a great spot and Svechnikov scored before Jeremy Swayman could get over. However, after the Hurricanes couldn’t clear the zone a little later, Charlie McAvoy found Erik Haula in front with a nice pass, who redirected the puck past Raanta to extend Boston’s lead to 3-1. Then under four minutes later, Derek Forbort’s point shot deflected off Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s stick and in, putting the game out of reach and late in the game, Curtis Lazar buried an empty net goal to make it 5-1. Andrei Svechnikov ended up scoring his second goal of the game off a nice pass from Martin Necas on a power play after that but it didn’t matter, as Carolina fell 5-2.
After a strong start to the game, Carolina’s momentum was basically killed after their series of unsuccessful power play chances in the second period. They had several opportunities but just couldn't manage to get much going and then having Boston convert on their only man advantage of the frame was deflating.
Carolina was outplayed through a majority of the back 40 minutes but if they managed to score on one of their power play opportunities, things may have turned out differently. Special teams has been the biggest factor of the series so far and Carolina not capitalizing when it counted made the difference.
So it all comes down to Game 7 on Saturday. Carolina has been perfect at home in the series, outscoring the Bruins by a huge margin in Games 1,2 and 5 combined – but anything can happen in Game 7.
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