by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Hurricanes at Bruins | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Bruins -140 Favorites
The Hurricanes blew an excellent chance to steal Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final on Thursday when they were outscored 4-0 in the third period in a 5-2 loss to the Bruins as +135 road underdogs. Carolina surrendered back-to-back power-play goals within 28 seconds of each other early in the third to turn a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit due to a pair of costly penalties.
Former Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton committed the second and two overall in the defeat, and his lackluster play seemed to turn the tide in the series opener. The Hurricanes dominated most of the first two periods and showed little signs of rust in playing their first game since May 3 before falling apart in the final 20 minutes to see their six-game winning streak come to an end. The OVER has cashed in their last three games and is on a 6-2 run going back to the first round against the Washington Capitals.
The Bruins flexed their muscles yet again with the extra man, and they lead the NHL this postseason with 12 power-play goals on 40 opportunities (30 percent). They were also able to overcome the loss of suspended defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who has led the team in minutes played in the playoffs.
The return of McAvoy will only strengthen the team’s defense and give goaltender Tuukka Rask more protection as he continues his charge for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Rask stopped 29 of 31 shots in Game 1 while Carolina counterpart Petr Mrazek (23 saves on 27 shots) struggled in his return to action after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour may decide to go back to Curtis McElhinney in Game 2, as he played well in helping close out the New York Islanders in the second round.
One more thing worth noting is that Boston was unable to win the first two home games in each of the first two series, settling for a split both times before advancing. The Bruins are averaging four goals during their four-game winning streak though, outscoring opponents 16-6, with the OVER going 2-1 in the last three following a 4-0 UNDER run.