Like every other game in the series, there was very little drama or suspense in the waning moments of Thursday’s game. Even with a late power play goal by Andrei Svechnikov, the Hurricanes were down three goals late making the ending unexciting.

But despite the lopsided score, a different path seemed possible before things turned late in the second period just like in game 4. With the Hurricanes trailing 1-0 near the midway point, the Canes failed to score with a 54-second 5-on-3 power play and then managed to hit not one but two cross bars on another power play shortly thereafter. When the Bruins then scored next late in the second period to make it 2-0, the series seemed destined for a game 7 which it ultimately was.

Per my game preview and coverage of the entire series, one has to like the Canes’ chances in a game 7 at home. First and foremost, with the ability to dictate match ups which means Staal’s line against Bergeron’s line most of the game, the Canes have been the better team. Less significantly but fun is the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes are a perfect 5-0 in game 7s since moving to North Carolina. In the 2006 Stanley Cup run, the Hurricanes beat the Sabres and Oilers in home game 7s. Since then the team has won three consecutive road game 7s with spectacular wins over the Devils and Bruins in 2009 and over the Capitals in 2019.


Player and other notes

1) More of the same though not as extreme

Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak were not as dominant but still factored heavily in the outcome. Marchand beat Raanta off the rush when the Canes struggled to sort things out after a line change. Pastrnak and Marchand both assisted on Coyle’s power play goal to open a 2-0 lead. And though the Hurricanes did even up the special teams scoring with Svechnikov’s power play goal after the game was already decided, the Bruins won special teams in the second period when the outcome was still in question.


2) Antti Raanta

Raanta was very good again. He did get beaten short side on the Marchand goal but otherwise was very good and did all he could to give the team a chance to come back late. Both of the two third period goals against (not counting the empty-netter) were frustrating. Both saw Raanta make a great save only to see the Canes lose 50/50 puck battles. Unable to clear the puck, the Bruins struck again and scored in both cases.


3) Sebastian Aho’s line

Svechnikov scoring twice is maybe a little glimmer of hope that carries forward into game 7. It took 18 periods of hockey for Svechnikov to collect a point that was not an empty-netter, so hopefully he is now ignited and ready to continue.

If not for Svechnikov’s late goal, it would have been another disappointing road game for Aho’s line and Aho specifically. Aho was one of three Canes on the ice for a 2-on-3 rush but doing nothing in particular to take anything away from Marchand who had all day to skate in, dust off the puck and pick a corner off the rush. Aho was also the Cane who gave up inside position on the Bruins power play goal. Instead of getting inside position to box out or at least being in position to lift or tie up Coyle’s stick, he was instead on the wrong side and mostly watching. Aho also had a first period penalty and turnovers at both blue lines in the third period. Aho did collect an assist, but he was also on the ice for four goals against (one was the empty-netter)  and in general had a tough night. Great players rebound quickly especially for big games. I would expect nothing less from Aho on Saturday.


4) 5-on-5 slowdown

In general, the Hurricanes have been productive at 5-on-5 in this series, but one negative development was a slower night at even strength. The Canes forwards managed only 12 shots at even strength. There were also a few chances with defensemen shooting into traffic, but in total the Canes did not create as much in game 6.


5) Seeking a Svechnikov carry over

Svechnikov has had an interesting series. On the one hand, he had not collected a goal or assist except on empty-netters heading into game 6, so in that regard he has been unproductive at least on the score sheet. But at the same time, he has been consistently engaged physically. Also significant is that he has steered clear of taking unnecessary penalties or making other mistakes from doing too much. So the positive is that Svechnikov has matured in terms of staying within the game even when things are not going his way on the score sheet. But the negative is that the Canes really need him on the score sheet. Hopefully Thursday’s break out carries over into a big game 7.


6) Going back to a winning formula

There will be no surprises with how the Canes play game 7. Brind’Amour will send Staal’s line out against Bergeron’s every chance he can. As long as the Canes can steer clear of icing and penalties, the only lever Cassidy has to avoid this much is dropping Pastrnak to the second line as he has done at times in the series. One has to like the Canes chances based on the results from the first three home games.


Up next is a Saturday matinee that will be the first game 7 in Raleigh since that fateful day in June of 2006 when Rod Brind’Amour hoisted the Stanley Cup.


Go Canes!



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