How to Watch
Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA.
When: Thursday, May 8, 8PM EST
How (TV/Radio): NBCSN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVAS | WFAN
We may very well be about to witness the closest series of the 2019 playoffs so far. It may not get any closer and more competitive than this one. Both teams were all over the place in the regular season stats but throughout the playoffs, there are no teams more equal.
Boston had the slight edge in regular season stats. They finished 11th in goals scored, ninth ins shots on goal, third on the powerplay, tenth in faceoff wins, and 13th in shooting percentage. The power play success continued into the post-season and could be Carolina’s biggest challenge.
Through two rounds and 13 games, the Bruins are 8-5 with 40 goals scored and 28 against. They have been averaging 3.08 goals per game. Their special teams have been reliable with a 28.6 power play percentage. They average almost 36 shots per game (more than any other team, including Carolina who led the league all regular season) and their faceoff success sits at 53.1 percent.
Carolina led the entire NHL in shots through 2019, averaging 34.4 per game. They were 16th in goals scored, only 20th on the power play, 24th in the faceoff circle, and 26th in shooting percentage. However, those last two stats are totally different throughout two playoff rounds.
Carolina has played two games less than the Bruins these playoffs, going 8-3. They’ve scored 34 and allowed 25. They average 3.09 goals per game - 0.01 more than Boston. Special teams will be a difference maker as the Carolina power play has struggled through the first two round with only a 10 percent success rate. They average 31.2 shots per game and are an even 50 percent in the faceoff circle.
Boston finished tied for third overall when it came to fewest goals against, averaging just 2.59 per game. They finished sixth in fewest shots against as well. But the defense varied through the season. This Bruins team also finished 16th in the league on the penalty kill and second-last for taking the most penalty minutes, averaging almost ten per game.
Like the power play, Boston has also managed to keep up a respectable penalty kill percentage - killing off 83.8 percent of their penalties. However, they’ll need to tighten up defensively. They allow 33.5 shots against on average and they are about to play against the highest shooting team of the regular season.
Carolina’s defensive season was more consistent than their third-round opponents. The Hurricanes finished the 2019 season seventh in goals allowed (2.7 per game on average) and third in fewest shots allowed (28.6 per game on average). They also killed 81.6 percent of their penalties, good for eighth, and averaged only 7.5 penalty minutes per game. Still not great, but it’s better than ten!
The special teams aspect follows Carolina here and, like their power play, there is much to be desired. Carolina’s penalty kill sits at only a 75 percent success rate. But, they do allow fewer shots on average than their opponents - allowing only 27.8 per game.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask played 46 games this season and finished with a record of 27-13-5. His regular season stats included a goals against average of 2.48 and a .912 save percentage. Rask also registered four shutouts.
At the time of writing, Tuukka Rask leads all goaltenders in minutes played throughout the 2019 playoffs with 801. Across 13 games, Rask has put up very respectable numbers including a 2.02 goals against average and a .938 save percentage. The 31-year-old is 8-5 in the playoffs and has registered one shutout.
Petr Mrazek played 40 games this season for the Carolina Hurricanes and ended the year with a 23-14-3 record. His regular season goals against average was 2.39 and his save percentage finished at .914. Like Rask, he finished with four shutouts
However, after playing much of the regular season, Petr Mrazek missed the final two games of the second-round series against the New York Islanders and it is uncertain if he will start the series against Boston. That being said, Curtis McElhinney stepped up, however, and the Hurricanes didn’t miss a beat. Over three games and 154 minutes of play, the 35-year-old managed a goals against average of 1.56 and a .947 save percentage. He is 3-0 through the 2019 playoffs.
Perennial pest and everyone’s favorite player to hate, Brad Marchand, has been leading the way for the Boston Bruins thus far through the 2019 post-season - and he hasn’t been without his charm. Marchand finds himself third-overall in this year’s playoff scoring race. Over 13 games played, Marchand has put up five goals and eight assists - good for 13 points. He is a plus-5 an averages a clean one point per game. Marchand has one power play goal and six power-play points in total. He has 45 shots on goal, one game-winner, and ten penalty minutes.
Also averaging one point per game is Carolina’s, Jaccob Slavin. Slavin has yet to score a goal of his own but has 11 assists over 11 games for the Hurricanes. Slavin is also an astounding plus-8 and has been a magnificent playmaker and a huge key to Carolina’s success through the first two rounds. He has two power-play points and one shorthanded point as well. Slavin has 20 shots on net and averages over 26 minutes of ice-time - the most of any offensive skater in the 2019 playoffs.
Boston Bruins Injury Report
F Noel Acciari - day-to-day (undisclosed)
D John Moore - day-to-day (upper-body)
D Kevan Miller - day-to-day (lower-body)
D Urho Vaakanainen - IR (concussion)
Carolina Hurricanes Injury Report
F Saku Maenalanen - IR (hand)
G Petr Mrazek - day-to-day (lower-body)
D Trevor van Riemsdyk - day-to-day (shoulder)
F Micheal Ferland - day-to-day (upper-body)
Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes Predictions and Odds
If you are in New Jersey you can bet on the Bruins vs Hurricanes first playoff game in round three of the playoffs, right here with 888Sport:
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