The Bruins enter yesterday's Game 5 vs. the Hurricanes with a chance to finish off the series. Some added good news for the team was the return of David Pastrnak after missing the last three games. The Bruins would need to be sharp right out of the gate in this one. After blowing a 2-0 lead in the third period of the last game, the Hurricanes were embarrassed. Coach Rod Brind’Amour said we want to play in a way that makes our fans proud and we didn't do that last game. If that doesn't fire his team up, I'm not sure what will.
Some roster moves before we jump in. Coyle was back on the third line with Kuraly and Studnicka with Bjork getting a night in the press box. The Hurricanes would go with the same lineup except Mrazek replaced Reimer in the net. Now let's get to the recap of game 5 the Bruins vs. the Hurricanes.
The first real scoring chance would come for the Canes about three minutes in for Jordan Stall. After a shaky game three Halak made a stop and it had to help his confidence. Krejci would get his first real chance for the Bruins with a screening of Kase in front but Mrazek made the stop. A great defensive play by Chara to tie up Brock McGinn's stick might have saved a goal after the puck bounced off a few bodies in front. With 10:25 remaining in the first, Haydn Fleury put the Canes on the board with a shot labeled for the blocker side corner.
A Hurricanes turnover led to a chance for Pastrnak in front. When Pasta tried to get Mrazek out of position he just stayed with him and made a big save. Halak answered back with a great save on a one-timer from Justin Williams. The first penalty of the game would come against the Bruins with just under five minutes remaining. The Bruins penalty kill kept their momentum going, shutting down the Canes power play. In the final minutes of the period, Halak gave up a juicy rebound and was bailed out by a huge shot block from Krejci. The first period came to a close with a 1-0 Hurricanes score.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, the second period didn't get off to a great start. A penalty under two minutes in on Pasta put Carolina back on the power play. As the Bruins finished the kill, the puck is cleared up the ice right to Pastrnak, exciting the box. With a clean breakaway from center ice, Pasta loses control of the puck right at the net and fails to convert on a golden opportunity. Halak, not to be outdone, then makes a great save on Stall a few minutes later. With under eleven minutes left, the Bruins forced a defensive zone turnover but got a little pass-happy and squandered the opportunity. Another breakaway for the Bruins came with about six minutes to go. This time it's Bergeron in alone and again Mrazek stands tall and makes a huge save.
The good news for the Bruins is that they are going on the power play after some stick work from the trailing Carolina defenseman. On the ensuing power play, Bergeron feeds the puck in front of the net, finding Krejci and it's in the open net. With just under five minutes to go, it's tied at 1. However, the Bruins were not done on the power play. With under a minute to go, Martinook got two minutes for roughing putting the Bruins back on the power play. Martinook checked Kase’s head into the boards and probably should have had a major penalty if not a game misconduct and an early shower. But the Bruins would make them pay all the same. With 3.5 seconds left Bergeron threw the puck off Mrazek’s skate from below the goal line and in. After two scores, the Bruins are up 2-1.
Less than a minute in and the Bruins are back on the power play. Looking to go three for three, Pasta has a one-timer from the dot but Mrazek steers it away. A minute after the kill it's the Canes turn on the power play. After only mustering two shots, the penalty was killed off. With 12 minutes to go, the Bruins go back on the power play. Krejci comes within an inch of making it a two-goal game but his shot rings off the crossbar. Carolina finishes the kill, but time is starting to tick away.
The Bruins shut it down, and with two minutes left Carolina pulled Mrazek. With a minute left Marchand almost ices it but the puck just rolls wide of the empty net. The Canes weren't about to give up and Halak made a great glove save on Williams. A few seconds later, Halak coughed up a dangerous rebound, but the Bruins have numbers in front to clear the puck out. As the final storm is weathered, the Bruins took Game 5 vs. the Hurricanes 2-1 winning the series four games to one.
The first star goes to Patrice Bergeron, making his first on this list this series. Bergeron not only scored the eventual game and series-winning goal, he also assisted on the tying goal by Krejci. David Krejci is the second star goes to and possibly the MVP of the series. Another multi-point night with a game-tying goal and an assist on Bergeron's goal. In the five-game series, Krejci scored three goals and had eight points. The third and final star goes to David Pastrnak. Making his return after an injury in game one, Pasta assisted on both Bruins goals. He also had multiple A-plus scoring chances, including a breakaway from center ice. You might blame the rust for that but it was still a great performance.
After a troubling start with the round-robin, the Bruins found their game and now are in the second round. If you would like to know who is next here is an article covering all the possible matchups, it's a little complicated. Click here for some player reactions after the first-round victory and to see a huge grin from Chara. We're on to round two and it's only going to get harder from here. The Bruins proved their doubters wrong and flipped the switch right from game one. With Krejci and Coyle in top form, Pastrnak is now back, Halak is gaining confidence and the NHL needs to be on the lookout. Whoever we play in the next round, it's going to be a great series that's for sure. So until then stay safe and healthy out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!
Featured image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.