By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It's been an awful long time since the Bruins skated off as winners of a Game 3.
1,848 days to be exact.
Now, days are an obviously inexact science when calculating something like this, I know. But here's some more fun tidbits to chew on to put that streak in perspective: The last time the Bruins won a Game 3, it was on the strength of goals from Dougie Hamilton (now on his second non-Boston team and on the other bench when tonight's Game 3 gets underway), Jordan Caron (out of the NHL since 2016), and with an empty-net goal from Patrice Bergeron (still a perfect human being) in a 3-0 final over the Red Wings. Oh, and Matt Bartkowski finished with the fourth-most ice-time among Boston skaters that night, too.
But perhaps most damning-- it's been a streak headlined by an 0-6 record from the B's in Game 3 contests since that win in Detroit, and with the Bruins dropping all five Game 3 affairs coached by Bruce Cassidy.
They're also heading into a PNC Arena that's featured nothin' but storm surging from the upstart Canes, as they are 5-0 and outscoring opponents by a whopping 22-7 mark. It's perhaps the noisiest building in the league this time of year.
It's not something that Cassidy is overly concerned about, as he'll be the first to tell you that each series is different, but for the third-year Boston bench boss, a positive Game 3 starts with the Bruins dictating the pace of the game.
“The message won’t change a lot in terms of the first two games of this series: We want to be on time. We don’t want to wait and see what happens," said Cassidy. "Maybe that was the problem the first road games because we started at home, maybe we too much allowed them to have it their way early. We did talk about that as the series went along in Toronto — and in Columbus — to set the tempo even if you’re on the road, so maybe that message has to get across."
Now, the Bruins do have one thing working in their favor: They recently ended a similar stretch with their Game 6 victory over the Blue Jackets in round two, as their victory over Columbus snapped a ridiculous 28-year-old drought of the Bruins failing to close out a series with a Game 6 victory away from Boston. (When you do that, you're basically untouchable.)
But that's not to say that the Bruins don't expect the Hurricanes, who are down 2-0 for the second time this postseason, to punch back with what should be their most desperate push of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"They’ll come out harder -- I think even harder than they did [Sunday] -- they came out physical and played their style," said Jake DeBrusk. "It’s not going to be easy by any means, it’s going to get tougher and tougher, that’s what we’re expecting."
"Going down there, we’re on a mission," said B's defender Charlie McAvoy.
Game 3 is set for an 8 p.m. puck drop, and can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub, 985TheSportsHub.com, and the Sports Hub App.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson