By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A dull scoreless affair turned to a high-energy scoreless affair in the blink of an eye Tuesday night at TD Garden, and it was the Bruins who ultimately found paydirt, coming out on top in a 2-0 final in snowy Boston.
Meeting for the first time since the B’s swept the ‘Canes in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, the teams had a somewhat sleepy start to the night, with only a handful of looks for each time in the opening frame. Boston’s best looks seemed to come off shots that knocked Carolina netminder James Reimer upstairs (but did not come with the rebounds needed to put one by the 31-year-old Reimer), while the Bruins were forced to kill off two penalties to close out the first period.
The second period told a different story, as the teams went end-to-end on one another, and combined for 21 shots. And though the shot clock favored the Bruins 13-8, it was the Hurricanes who seemed to generate the higher quality looks, with Nino Niederreiter clanging a post on a sprawled Jaroslav Halak and Jaccob Slavin scoring a “goal” through the side of the net.
The scoreless battled raged on deep into the third period, until Danton Heinen won a puck battle at the Boston blue line and began the transition the other way, where Brad Marchand fed Charlie Coyle for a tip through Reimer with 4:05 remaining in regulation.
Charlie Coyle opens the scoring for Boston. pic.twitter.com/xiuGQKs1mf— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 4, 2019
And with momentum on their side and the building buzzing, the Bruins straight-up pulverized the ‘Canes on their next shift, and David Krejci put this one to bed with a tip through Reimer for his sixth goal of the year (and 200th of his career).
Halak was in net for what was the 500th game of his NHL career. The appearance made Halak, whose career began in Montreal during the 2006-07 season, just the 74th goaltender in league history to hit the 500-game mark, and the Slovak veteran made it count with 24 saves for his second shutout of the season (and first since his first start of the season back on Oct. 5).
With the win, the Bruins extended their win streak to eight, and extended their home point streak to a staggering 16 games (12-0-4).
The Bruins will continue their homestand on Thursday night against the Blackhawks.