Twenty-eight seconds apart, Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored on power plays during a four-goal outburst as Boston rallied from a third-period deficit to beat Carolina 5-2 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Game 2 is Sunday at 3 p.m.
That was Jackets coach John Tortorella speaking with reporters last night, hours after he had predicted a game six victory.
Despite the rather lopsided scoreline, the Hurricanes played a strong opening game against Boston and largely dominated the second period.
"We peppered him", Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "Guys they know it, they got to dig in".
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After Jake DeBrusk hit a goal post on the other end, Krekci got the rebound off the boards and scored the first goal of the game with a slap shot from the top of the right circle with 7:47 left in the second.
As statistically lopsided as the final score ended up, the game was anything but. "You're not sitting there nursing it by any means, but I wasn't anxious about Tuukka. I felt 120 percent [Monday], to be honest". "He's been in a real good place, consistent, just solid and composed". He also drew the boarding penalty on Staal in the third period that led to Boston's first power-play goal and got the B's off and running for the rest of the period in their comeback win. Bobrovsky and star forward Artemi Panarin are unrestricted free agents and have refused, so far, to re-sign with the Blue Jackets.
Near the end of the second, Boston's Charlie McAvoy almost took off Josh Anderson's head with a hit, but the officials leveled only a two-minute minor penalty for an illegal check. "But we're looking forward to it". Andrei Svechnikov missed a lot of the first round and half of the second round but has been great in the five playoff games that he's appeared in-scoring three goals with one assist while posting an impressive 58.88 CF% and has not been on the ice for a 5v5 goal-against yet. Alexander Wennberg was a healthy scratch.
Boston's third line has been good throughout the playoffs and will be relied on to take advantage of Carolina's bottom-6 which has been much more susceptible to giving up goals at even-strength.
It really put a spotlight on Carolina's inexperience in a big moment in Game 1 when they were holding a 2-1 lead into the final period and had Boston in a comfortable spot after a "meh" second period from the Black and Gold.