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Defenseman Jaccob Slavin hugs goaltender Antti Raanta after the home game against the Winnipeg Jets in PNC Arena on Thursday, April 21, 2022. The Canes beat the Jets 4-2. Slavin scored one goal and Raanta had 20 saves from 22 shots.

The Carolina Hurricanes gained the momentum back at PNC Arena in Raleigh thanks to a 5-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Tonight’s game cemented Carolina’s 3-2 advantage over Boston, putting them one win away from moving forward in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tensions were undoubtedly high in Raleigh. Coming off of a two-game losing streak at TD Garden in Boston, Carolina’s battle with the Bruins became substantially tighter. Right off the bat, however, fans were able to breathe a little easier thanks to the Hurricanes’ improved offensive strategies.

That’s not to say Boston didn’t come to play — on the contrary, the Bruins matched Carolina’s quick-paced play with a vengeance. Luckily, goaltender Antti Raanta seemed to have snapped back into the impressive form fans saw in the first game of the series, saving tough wrist shots with ease.

“Whole team played great in front of me, they made my job easier,” Raanta said. “When you get that first [playoff game] under your belt, you play the game as the game comes to you.”

PNC Arena lit up like a Christmas tree only six minutes into the game thanks to defenseman Jaccob Slavin’s sneaky goal to break the ice for the Canes. Despite Slavin’s initial score, however, Boston was leading in shots on goal over Carolina. Offensively, the Canes needed to step up if they sought to continue their lead.

About two and a half minutes later, Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was sent to the penalty box for hooking, giving Carolina its first opportunity of the night to score on a power play. Although the power play was ultimately fruitless, it was certainly a more dominant performance than the likes of the last two games.

Very quickly after the culmination of the first power play, Boston defenseman Derek Forbort was penalized for roughing against center Max Domi. A little over a minute in, defenseman Tony DeAngelo nailed Carolina’s third power play goal of the series. By doing so, DeAngelo brought a vigor back into the power play that the Hurricanes so desperately needed.

At the beginning of the second period, Carolina commenced its third power play thanks to an instance of high sticking from Grzelcyk. Although the Hurricanes weren’t able to score another power play goal, they continued to dominate in terms of shots on goal. 

Boston’s first power play came as center Jesperi Kotkaniemi was sent to the penalty box for high sticking. This would be Carolina’s first defensive test of the night, especially given the team’s struggles with the power play kill in Boston across Friday and Sunday’s games.

Luckily, the likes of the Canes’ defense — with a big helping hand from Raanta —  was able to exercise the power play kill for 1:46, until Boston defensemen Charlie McAvoy made it a 4v4 game after being called for interference.

Center Seth Jarvis was technically credited for the Hurricanes’ third goal of the evening, although it was really an assist to an own goal on Boston’s side. Jarvis was the last to hit the puck for the Canes, but it nailed the side of a Bruin’s skate, which bounced right past Boston goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Nevertheless, Jarvis was credited for his second goal of the series.

Early in the third period, Carolina exercised its power play kill once again thanks to a slashing penalty from right-wing Nino Niederreiter, although it was once again cut short by a Bruins penalty — this time, center Martin Necas was beaned in the nose by Boston left-wing Taylor Hall.

Jarvis was once again able to take advantage of the power play: the 20-year-old scored his second goal of the evening thanks to a tip into the net with help from center Vincent Trocheck, raising the Hurricanes’ lead to 4-0.

A goal from Boston defensemen Connor Clifton about halfway through the third period unfortunately prevented a shutout for Carolina on home turf, but it wasn’t nearly enough to bring back any momentum for the Bruins. The Hurricanes killed yet another power play after DeAngelo was sent to the box for holding, and spirits were especially high at PNC Arena for the last six minutes of gameplay.

“I get excited,” said Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I wish I was playing — you can’t beat the feeling when you pump one in and the crowd goes crazy.”

Trocheck gave Carolina a tad more wiggle room with less than five minutes to go in the third period, scoring on an empty net to cement the Canes’ victory with at least one more game to go in the series.

Heading into game six, the Hurricanes only need one more win to secure the series and take on either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the New York Rangers. If the Bruins beat Carolina, they’ll force a seven-game series — that being said, game seven will be on home turf for the Canes.

The Hurricanes will face the Bruins on Thursday, May 12 at TD Garden in Boston for the sixth game in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Puck drops at 6:30 p.m.

Managing Editor

I am a first-year student studying biology with a minor in technical and scientific communication. I joined Technician as a correspondent in August 2020, and I am currently the Managing Editor.