Hurricanes overcome keeper loss to beat Bruins in Game 2

RALEIGH, NC — Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter each scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes overcame goaltender Antti Raanta’s early loss to beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series .

Jesper Fast had the first goal of the game for Carolina in another strong offensive effort to start this series. Rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov replaced Raanta and finished the game with 29 saves.

Game 3 takes place in Boston on Friday night.

The Hurricanes also played with a physical advantage against a Boston team that knocked them out of the playoffs twice in three postseasons. And it came in a game that quickly went from competitive to lively and downright tiresome – namely after Boston’s David Pastrnak threw Raanta out midway through the first period when he hit the keeper in the head with a gloved hand as he took it tried to skate past him.

With injured No.1 goaltender Frederik Andersen down early in the playoffs, Carolina turned to Kochetkov when Raanta was eliminated while bleeding from an apparent mouth injury.

Sebastian Aho celebrates after scoring one of his two goals in the Hurricanes' 5-2 win over the Bruins in Game 2.
Sebastian Aho celebrates after scoring one of his two goals in the Hurricanes’ 5-2 win over the Bruins in Game 2.
USA TODAY sports

Patrice Bergeron scored both of Boston’s goals, the first from a loose rebound in the second and another from a detour near the goal area in the third. Linus Ullmark gave up four goals and ended with 29 saves in the second game in a row.

After Raanta’s departure, the teams constantly traded words and goals, along with repeated post-whistle tussles. There was the shrill shoulder-to-chest shot from Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov that knocked down Hampus Lindholm and left him shaky when he was helped into the dressing room late in the second round.

Then there was Boston’s Brad Marchand, who gave Kochetkov a little nudge when he tried to play a puck. The keeper protested and gave Marchand a shove after the game, only to see Marchand immediately swing his stick and slam Kochetkov in the right arm for a sharp penalty kick.

It was part of a busy night in the box for the Bruins, who had 12 penalties over 26 minutes. The Hurricanes converted twice on the power play, including Niederreiter’s finish on the kink in a 5-on-3 sequence for a 4-1 lead at 18:52 of the second.

Niederreiter’s second goal was an empty net in the final minute. Moments later, the game duly ended with the teams having to be separated again after the final horn. Hurricanes overcome keeper loss to beat Bruins in Game 2


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