Saturday, November 26 2022

Bruins-Hurricanes Game 5 preview, projected lineups, odds and prediction originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The first-round playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes is now a best-of-3 after both teams protected home ice through the first four games.

The Bruins are coming off two wins at TD Garden, where they outscored the Hurricanes 9-4 and completely dominated special teams to even the series.

The challenge for the Bruins is playing with that same energy and precision in hostile territory. The B’s played poorly in the first two games of the series at PNC Arena. They were outscored 10-3 and never had a lead.

Brad Marchand‘s resurgence gives Bruins new life with dominant Game 4 win

The Bruins won Game 4 without their top two defenseman, Charlie McAvoy (COVID protocol) and Hampus Lindholm (upper body injury), and they will need to do it again Thursday night in Game 5. Neither McAvoy nor Lindholm traveled with the team to Raleigh. Veteran defenseman Josh Brown will remain in the lineup for the second consecutive game.

Here’s a preview of Bruins-Hurricanes Game 5.

Key storylines

Will ‘Canes stay out of the penalty box?

The Hurricanes were an undisciplined group in Boston, taking a total of 14 penalties in their Game 3 and Game 4 losses. The Bruins scored two power-play goals in each matchup, and they had nine (!) power play opportunities in Sunday’s win.

Carolina took the seventh-most penalties during the regular season, and it also had the second-worst penalty differential. Going to the penalty box is not an uncommon sight for this ‘Canes team, and it’s something they must address or this series will slip away from them.

The Bruins power play has had its share of struggles over the last month, but the unit is loaded with high-end talent (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall, etc.) and playing with plenty of confidence after scoring five goals in the last eight periods of the series.

The Bruins had an average of 6.33 power plays over the last three games. The Hurricanes need to cut that number in half to prevent the B’s from continuing to dominate the special teams battle.

Will the Bruins’ bottom-six forwards score goals?

The Bruins’ top players, mostly the first line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak, led the charge in the team’s two wins in Boston. This trio scored six of Boston’s nine goals in those two victories. It was a much-needed bounce back for those three stars after a couple rough performances in Carolina to begin the series.

But the Bruins can’t rely on the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak trio to produce the majority of the offense every night, especially on the road where the Hurricanes have last change as the home team and can match Boston’s best line with the Jordan Staal shutdown line and the Brett Pesce-Brady Skjei defense pairing.

Erik Haula, Trent Frederic, Chris Wagner, Tomas Nosek, Craig Smith, Curtis Lazar and Nick Foligno have all failed to score a single goal in this series for Boston. A lack of scoring depth has proved fatal in recent Bruins playoff runs, and that could again be the case if the seven players listed in the previous sentence don’t generate any offense over the next two or three games.

Projected Lineups

BOSTON BRUINS

Forwards

Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall–Erik Haula–Craig Smith

Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Tomas Nosek

Nick Foligno–Curtis Lazar–Chris Wagner

Defensemen

Matt Grzelcyk–Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort–Connor Clifton

Mike Reilly–Josh Brown

Goalie

Jeremy Swayman

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Forwards

Andrei Svechnikov–Sebastian Aho–Seth Jarvis

Teuvo Teravainen–Vincent Trocheck–Martin Necas

Nino Niederreiter–Jordan Staal–Jesper Fast

Max Domi–Jesperi Kotkaniemi–Derek Stepan

Defensemen

Jaccob Slavin–Tony DeAngelo

Brady Skjei–Brett Pesce

Brendan Smith–Ian Cole

Goalie 

Antti Raanta

Odds

Moneyline

Hurricanes: -145

Bruins: +125

Over/Under Total Goals

Over 6: +100

Under 6: -121

All lines via PointsBet

Prediction

Bruins win 3-2

Source: Yahoo Sports

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