It was another chance on Thursday night for the Boston Bruins to prove that they are a team capable of playing with contenders, but it was another failed test.
Boston lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 in Raleigh to finish its short two-game road trip without a point. The team dropped to 3-3-0 on the season, as the Hurricanes remain undefeated with a record of 6-0-0.
Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves in the loss to drop to 1-2-0 in his rookie campaign. Frederik Andersen was perfect, stopping all 33 shots he saw for his sixth win of the season.
The opening period was pretty even across the board. The Bruins were able to get five shots on net before the Hurricanes registered their first, but it was back-and-forth for a bit.
Tony DeAngelo opened the scoring for the Hurricanes under five minutes to go in the period, as his one-timer got under the arm of Swayman. 1-0 Canes after 20 minutes.
Things got chippy in the second. Less than a minute in, Brad Marchand and Nino Neiderreiter got into it and were each sent off for two minutes. A total of seven penalties were handed out in the second alone after none in the first.
Carolina took advantage of one of the Bruins’ penalties as Neiderreiter’s pass intender for Jesperi Kotkaniemi deflected off Derek Forbort’s skate and went into the net.
Tough break for Swayman and the Bruins on an extremely lucky bounce. Carolina was starting to take it to the Bruins and the hockey gods rewarded them for their play.
Hurricanes up 2-0 after two.
A couple more chances, but no dice for the Bruins in a period where the Hurricanes went into defense mode and just shut every chance down. Andrei Svechnikov added an empty-netter and the Hurricanes sent the Bruins home with a 3-0 loss.
- I don’t know how Taylor Hall misses this wide open net. He had a couple of looks in the game where he fanned on a shot, but this one was the worst. 5 on 3 in the third and the Bruins couldn’t make the Canes pay
- Speaking of power plays, 0-for-5 tonight, 2-for-16 on the season. The power play did not look good tonight, especially the top unit. Just no urgency late to get pucks to the net, the Hall chance was because of really the only defensive breakdown all game from Carolina. Something has to change with the personnel
- Also to note – Hall might be hurt. He was shaken up a bit on a hit in the San Jose game and hasn’t looked right since
- David Pastrnak is having one of his worst starts to date. Just turnover after turnover. Keeping the puck too long on his stick in the offensive zone. Not shooting with a purpose.
- The top line was shut down entirely these last two games and that’s what good teams will do. Pretty eye opening how much the Bruins rely on 63, 88 and 37 for offense and when they can’t get it in, there is not many right now stepping up
- One goal in the last 120 minutes. Not great!
- Jake DeBrusk is playing with a fire under him. He has been a bright spot these last two games. No rewards, but they’ll come. He’s doing the right things and it’s good to see
- I don’t know why Bruce Cassidy starts with Jack Studnicka as the second line center and then immediately takes him off. He put him back on in the third, but it feels like he’s not giving him a chance. Granted, going against teams like Florida and Carolina is a big ask for Studnicka, but still, see what the kid can do. The one goal they’ve scored the last two nights was because of him
- Can’t really complain about Swayman’s performance. Looks like he misread the DeAngelo shot on the first goal, but nothing he could do on the second. And he made some great saves to keep the game close
- But he was outplayed by Andersen. First shutout of the year and Andersen continues to dominate. He’s looking like a Vezina-caliber goaltender
- The Hurricanes 6-0-0 start is the best in franchise history. Every year, they seem to get better and better. I really like what Rod Brind’Amour brings behind the bench. Goaltending has held them back the last couple of seasons, but if Andersen can keep this up, watch out
The Bruins will get a day off, but are back on Saturday night against the same Panthers team they saw Wednesday. Craig Smith might be back for that matchup, but adding him into the lineup isn’t the solution.
Hopefully this two-game stretch was a wake-up call. Improvements need to be made pretty much everywhere. Yes, we’re only six games in, but this were two measuring stick games that the Bruins did not perform the way they were expected to. Boston needs to regroup for Saturday, or run the risk of finishing October under .500.