Hurricanes-Bruins Game 2 of NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs preview

Max Domi played 19 games this season for the Canes after being traded from Columbus but said it was enough to get an appreciation for Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour and his coaching style.

“I’ve definitely never had a coach like Roddy,” Domi said Wednesday. “He’s so positive. He kind of feels like another player, to be honest with you. He wants to win so bad. When you have a guy like him driving the bus, you’re very fortunate. “

The Bruins’ Brad Marchand has mentioned the winning “culture” Brind’Amour has brought to the Canes since taking over as head coach. And Brind’Amour, in turn, credited the Bruins’ success for being a factor.

“We’ve improved our overall outlook, I think, in four years,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s all a credit to the group. We’ve raised the expectations and tried to be a team like Boston. They do not play for second place. Why are we playing for that, why are we just trying to make the playoffs? That makes no sense.

“That’s all we did as a group. We said, ‘How do we compete with those guys?’ We just needed a little bit of a change of attitude, a little belief. ”

DeAngelo back in the playoffs

For the Canes’ Tony DeAngelo, Game 1 was his first playoff game since 2020 and the Toronto bubble.

DeAngelo remembers it well. Then playing for the New York Rangers, the defenseman had the Canes’ Sebastian Aho dance around him with the puck and score on a quick backhander. It was the Canes’ signature play as Carolina swept the preliminary round series in three games.

But Monday was different. DeAngelo and and Aho are teammates. PNC Arena was full and Canes fans loud.

“It was unreal and gave us a big boost, an extra boost of adrenaline,” DeAngelo said Wednesday before Game 2. “We fed off the crowd.”

While the Canes won 5-1, special teams play was not a factor. Both teams were 0-3 on the power play although the Bruins had two more minutes of power-play time.

What needs to improve?

“Just execution,” DeAngelo said. “Our penalty kill did a great job, too. We’ve got to keep working at it. “

Slavin the beast

During a media availability Wednesday, DeAngelo referred to defensive partner Jaccob Slavin as a “beast” who will bounce people around with his size and strength, when needed be.

That would be Slavin, the 2021 Lady Byng Trophy winner, which is awarded for his gentlemanly play and sportsmanship.

“Hey, as long as it’s not a penalty, you can still do that and still win the Lady Byng,” DeAngelo said, smiling.

Slavin had 10 penalty minutes in 79 games this season while averaging a team-high 23:31 in ice time.

“He’s a quiet leader and a fun guy to watch,” DeAngelo said. “On the defensive side of the puck I do not think there’s a better guy in the NHL.”

No changes expected

The Carolina Hurricanes did not plan on changing anything for Game 2 of their playoff series against the Boston Bruins.

The Canes got the job done in Game 1, winning 5-1 Monday as goalie Antti Raanta was the game’s first star. The lineup will remain the same Wednesday for Game 2, with Raanta again in net.

RAL_CANESBRUINSONE-SP-050222-RTW_8.JPG
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Antii Raanta (32) rejects a shot attempt by Boston Bruins Charlie McAvoy (73) in the second period on Monday, May 2, 2022 during game one of their Stanley Cup first round series at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Brind’Amour, while happy to take the series lead, said the final score was misleading. The coaches, he said, focus more on scoring chances in a game and those were about even Monday. The difference: the Canes finished off enough scoring chances and the Bruins did not.

“Their pucks had eyes,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday.

Cassidy will stick with goalie Linus Ullmark, but will switch up his D pairs, putting Matt Grzelcyk with Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm with Brandon Carlo. Cassidy said Grzelcyk and Carlo had a “bit of a challenging night” in Game 1.

Forwards Derek Stepan and Steven Lorentz, and defenseman Ethan Bear are the Canes’ likely scratches for the second straight game.

Different approaches

The Canes and Bruins took different approaches to their preparation for Game 2. Carolina did not practice Tuesday but had a full morning skate Wednesday. The Bruins held a full practice Tuesday, working on the power play part of the time, and had an optional skate Wednesday.

Two players that were on the ice for Boston on Wednesday: Patrice Bergeron and Marchand.

This story was originally published May 4, 2022 3:06 PM.

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In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the NC State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes ‘move to North Carolina in 1997 and was part of The N & O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

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