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game 1 | hurricanes 5, bruins 1

Bruins drop playoff opener, but they aren’t about to overreact to one loss

Nino Niederreiter celebrates his second-period goal in the Hurricanes' Game 1 win over the Bruins.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

RALEIGH, N.C. — Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy believes he has a team that won’t overreact after one game.

Playoff experience was on the Bruins’ side when they opened up their first-round series Monday night against the Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

No matter how the scoreboard looked at the end of the night, they expected to be in for a long series.

“I think you’re prepared to play the game and the adjustments come as you go along,” Cassidy said before his team suffered a 5-1 loss. “I think tonight at about 10:30, 11 o’clock, the coaching staffs on each side are going to be talking about, ‘OK, this is maybe the direction it’s going to go’, or it plays out like you think. But that’s when the tinkering starts. I think after each game you start thinking, ‘OK, they exposed us here, we didn’t see that coming. We’ve got to do something tomorrow.’ "

The late-night film study for the coaching staff started as soon as the Bruins left the ice after the Game 1 loss.


When Cassidy looks back, he’ll think about the opportunities the Bruins let slip away despite outshooting the Hurricanes, 36-25. Carolina goalie Antti Raanta, who had appeared in five playoff games, none as a starter, stopped 35 shots, including 14 in the first period.

“Their goalie made saves,” Cassidy said. “And there’s some pucks around the front of the net we just couldn’t locate or take the right path to, but they were there. He’s paid to play, too, and he did a good job and he held them in the game early on.”

In many ways, the Hurricanes played exactly how the Bruins expected — high-tempo, in-your-face, stick-on-puck.

Carolina's Vincent Trocheck celebrates his goal with teammate Brett Pesce and the Hurricanes fans in the third period of Tuesday's game.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

“They play a very particular brand of hockey and it’s been that way for a few years now and wasn’t anything that we didn’t expect,” said Taylor Hall, who scored the Bruins’ only goal.


After a scoreless first period, the Bruins had a sense of control over the game.

“That was the chatter on the bench in between the first and second, really solid road game against a team that plays well at home,” Hall said. “A lot of really good things. It was just can we create those second chances and can we hang around the net and get some bounces our way?”

The Bruins got the scoring chances they wanted, outshooting Carolina, 14-4, at one point in the first period and firing four shots on their first power play, but goals never materialized.

“It just didn’t turn into anything,” Hall said. “And they kind of turned around on us.”

The Bruins’ power play came up empty on three opportunities.

“We can’t rely on our power play against the No. 1 PK,” Cassidy said. “But it does have to give us some juice.”

Linus Ullmark gave up four goals for the first time since March 1. The insurance goal by Vincent Trocheck at the 16:59 mark in the third period added insult to injury when he fired a backhander from behind the goal line that ricocheted off Ullmark’s helmet and into the net for a 4-1 lead.

Linus Ullmark makes a second-period save against Carolina during Tuesday's Game 1.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

Andrei Svechnikov had an empty-netter with 2:01 remaining.

“I’m not faulting our goaltender for this,” Cassidy said. “We had some opportunities we need to finish as well like they did.”


The third line of Trent Frederic, Charlie Coyle, and Craig Smith, which had been reliable for much of the Bruins’ surge since January, struggled.

“That line had some chances but in general needs to be a little more connected,” Cassidy said.

Smith appeared to be shaken up by two hits in the third period, going to the bench, but not the dressing room, and eventually returning to the game.

The Hurricanes took control with a burst late in the second.

The game was scoreless until 20-year-old rookie Seth Jarvis got them on the board with a deflection off a Jaccob Slavin one-timer at the 16:28 mark. Jarvis, who scored 17 goals this season, got one in a 7-1 win in Boston in January.

It didn’t take long for Carolina to extend the lead.

At the 18:38 mark, Tony DeAngelo found Nino Niederreiter at the top of the left circle. Niederreiter snapped a shot from 47 feet out past Ullmark to put the Bruins in a 2-0 hole.

Hall cut the deficit in half, scoring from the slot off a pass from Erik Haula at the 2:53 mark of the third period. But Teuvo Teravainen made it a two-goal game again a little over more than four minutes later.

Taylor Hall, seen here looking for open ice in the first period of Tuesday's game, scored the lone goal for Boston.Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

The Bruins have had recent success against Carolina in the postseason, knocking them out in 2019 and 2020, but the Hurricanes are a different team. Carolina swept the regular-season series and took Game 1 convincingly.

“I don’t think it was anything that we didn’t expect,” Hall said. “They do play a really good playoff style of hockey and I’m sure that they’re really looking forward to try and beat the Bruins. It’s been a couple of series now that hasn’t gone their way and they play playoff hockey. So it’s going to be a long series no matter what happened tonight.”


Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.