Carolina Hurricanes Boston Bruins Pyotr Kochetkov second game

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Well, it was definitely a playoff hockey game.

The Hurricanes grabbed a 2-0 lead over the Bruins Wednesday night at PNC Arena with a 5-2 victory, emerging first in a game that featured plenty of bad blood and 22 penalties combined.

Carolina took a 3-0 lead early in the second period, as Jesper Fast’s opening goal was followed by two from Sebastian Aho. Nino Niederreiter scored the other two goals for the Canes, as Carolina was too much to handle for a Bruins team that got two from Patrice Bergeron.

Carolina suffered a big injury in the first period, as starting goaltender Antti Raanta was crushed by David Pastrnak and forced out of the game. Rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov came on and performed well, stopping 30 of 32 shots he faced to beat Linus Ullmark.

The first period was a wonderful, savage display of playoff hockey, as the hits flew, tempers flared and the Canes scored.

The game started off quite similar to Game 1, as Boston came out of the gate the better team as the Bs buzzed at the start. Boston also had a solid but scoreless early power play.

The Hurricanes took a big hit in the opening seconds of Boston’s second power play of the night, as David Pastrnak ran full speed over Raanta. The Canes goaltender immediately took to the ice with an apparent cut around his head, and he wouldn’t return when Kochetkov entered.

And when Kochetkov entered the game, the team on the ice in front of him stepped up. The Canes suddenly took control and dominated the rest of the first period, as the rookie in goal only had to make four saves.

Fast opened the scoring with a beautiful, hard-earned goal for the Jordan Staal line. Fast made a big effort on the forecheck to keep the puck in the zone for the Canes. Staal eventually laced a clean cross pass to Fast, who blasted the opener past Ullmark.

Aho made it a 2-0 game minutes later as the Canes got all the traffic in the world past Ullmark to double the lead. Tony DeAngelo fired a shot from the point through a double screen from Jaccob Slavin and Aho, and it was the Finnish center who got the stick for the redirect.

The first period ended with some shenanigans on the ice a few times, as penalties poured in in the final 15 seconds.

The end result was a 5-on-3 minute of time for the Hurricanes to start the second period, and Aho made it a three-goal game on the regular power play shortly after the two-man advantage ended. .

That goal was an absolute blast from Aho, who had sealed the fourth multi-goal game of his young playoff career, the most in franchise history.

The back half of the second period turned into utter chaos, as the two teams combined for seven penalties in the final six minutes to take the game’s total to 17 in the second intermission.

The Bruins salvaged a goal on their only power play of the second period, as a third or fourth effort from Bergeron finally passed Kochetkov after a fairly soft call against Andrei Svechnikov.

After that, things opened up completely, as there were a number of skirmishes after the whistle that led to penalties, including a small battle between Kochetkov and Brad Marchand.

One of those scrums after the whistle came after a MASSIVE hit from Svechnikov, which flattened Hampus Lindholm.

The Canes added another goal to their lead following multiple penalties, as Carolina secured their second 5-on-3 of the game and converted. It was Niederreiter who ended up scoring the goal, although Aho came within inches of completing his hat trick.

The third period played out similarly, as the penalties continued to pile up and things remained pretty heated.

The Canes burned five minutes on the power play but couldn’t find a goal as things calmed down a bit.

Boston recovered one to make things interesting with about eight minutes to go, however, as Bergeron deflected Kochetkov to make it a two-goal game.

The Bruins continued to surge after Bergeron breathed new life into the game, forcing Kochetkov to make some big saves to keep him within two goals. Kochetkov was ready for the challenge, stopping anything that came his way.

Niederreiter put the game to bed with less than a minute to play, counting on the empty net after Aho missed his hat trick with two near-full misses.

Now the series will move north to Boston as the Hurricanes look to build on their momentum on the road.

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