Max Domi scored two goals in a breakout postseason performance. Teuvo Teravainen added the other. Both playing Game 7s for the first time, Canes goalie Antti Raanta (27 saves) won the duel with rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman (28).
A goal from David Pastrnak with 21 seconds left and the Bruins’ net empty gave hope, but by then it was too late.
The Bruins were eliminated in the first round for just the second time in this run of six straight postseason appearances. They failed to win in four tries in Raleigh this series and fell to 1-5 in road Game 7s, the lone victory claiming the Stanley Cup at Vancouver in 2011.
Carolina will face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 2. The franchise is 6-0 in Game 7s during its 24 seasons since relocating from Hartford.
Vincent Trocheck cost the Canes another first-period power-play opportunity when he retaliated after Craig Smith crackled Tony DeAngelo into the end boards behind the Canes net. Trocheck swooped in to throw a shoulder into Smith, then followed Smith as he skated away.
DeAngelo tried to pull Trocheck out of the fray, but it was too late. Smith went to the box for roughing. And instead of getting a man advantage, the Hurricanes had to play 4-on-4 with Trocheck in the box for roughing as well.
The Canes ended up with a first-period power-play anyway when Derek Forbort, a defensive standout this series, was whistled for holding Jesperi Kotkaniemi at 7:41.
A kick save by Jeremy Swayman on a shot by Trocheck kept the Canes from cashing in early. Out of the six shots the Canes got with the advantage, that was their best look against a Bruins kill that was strong all series.
The Bruins had to kill three penalties over the first two periods without getting a power-play opportunity of their own.
Scoring first mattered.
The Canes did it for the sixth time in seven games, and didn’t need a power play to make it happen. The Bruins nearly got out of the first period with a scoreless game, but the Canes’ second line spoiled it.
As Trocheck skated with the puck along the end boards, Domi found open space on the right side of the net thanks to a mix-up between Trent Frederic and Smith. The Canes connected the dots from there. Trocheck hit Jaccob Slavin and Slavin found Domi, which forced Swayman to slide to the left side of the net.
Domi made a quick pass to Teravainen, who made the easy finish past Swayman’s skate with 1:24 left in the period.
Despite killing two penalties and getting 11 shots, the Bruins once again had to play from behind on the road.
Two-goal leads mattered.
Just as the Bruins killed another power play, the Canes put them in a tough spot when Domi darted to the net and scored on Swayman’s blindside to make it 2-0 at 3:14 in the second.
The Bruins cut the lead in half not even two minutes later when Patrice Bergeron sent a pass to the middle of the ice that deflected off Charlie McAvoy and found Jake DeBrusk, who netted it for his second goal of the series.
The Bruins still had to chase, but they were within arm’s reach.
The Canes are a different team at home and a different team with a lead.
They showed it again when they stretched the lead to 3-1. Domi’s second goal of the night was a gut punch. Domi sneaked into the slot while four Bruins stood and watched Connor Clifton battle Trocheck along the boards for the puck. Trocheck touched it to Teravainen, who found Domi for a lunching finish to put the Bruins back in a two-goal hole.
Domi hadn’t scored in 16 career playoff games before Game 7, but he was the catalyst on a second line that powered the Canes.
With the goalie pulled, David Pastrnak slammed home a deflected Charlie McAvoy shot with 21.7 seconds to go, but that hole proved too deep to overcome.
Julian Benbow can be reached at [email protected].
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism