If you were looking for even a sliver of happiness Thursday night, TD Garden was absolutely the last place you’d want to be, as the Bruins were once again walloped by the Hurricanes, this time by a 6-0 final.
In a game that simply never felt all that close, the Hurricanes struck first with Vinny Trocheck power-play goal scored after a Trent Frederic offensive-zone penalty derailed what appeared to be the beginning of a push on the Hurricanes’ Frederik Andersen.
The Trocheck goal was the lone blemish of what was a strong start for B’s goaltender Linus Ullmark, too, as the team’s unofficial No. 1 goaltender with Tuukka Rask out of the picture turned aside 17 of 18 shots faced in the opening period.
You knew Vinny would get on the scoresheet 😏 pic.twitter.com/lrbH2uO84t— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 11, 2022
But the Hurricanes, true to form in this season series, refused to let up.
And the Bruins decided to gift ’em a few along the way.
Boston’s deficit was doubled at the 2:35 mark of the period when Brandon Carlo sent a puck up the middle in the defensive zone, and right to Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov, who buried it through Ullmark for his 18th goal of the season. Then a gigantic rebound from Ullmark and right to Sebastian Aho, complete with a Charlie McAvoy gaffe just moments prior, for a 3-0 edge.
The Bruins then gave the Hurricanes three looks on Ullmark, and all from quality areas of the ice, before Brett Pesce made it 4-0 at the 14:52 mark of the second frame. The Canes added another two goals in the third — the first on the power play from Aho and second from Jordan Staal — for good measure and a clean season series sweep over the Black and Gold.
Bruce Cassidy’s squad, meanwhile, simply couldn’t buy a goal against Andersen, and were stymied in what finished as a 34-save shutout victory for the ex-Leaf netminder. The closest the Bruins came to beating him took Nick Foligno plowing into him on the way to a red light, but the goal was quickly called off by the on-ice officials, and an unsuccessful challenge from the Bruins kept the donut on the board for the remainder of the evening.
Boston’s loss certainly came with the team obviously shorthanded due to Brad Marchand’s suspension and Patrice Bergeron’s head injury, but Cassidy wasn’t ready to brush this loss aside because of their absences.
“There’s enough leaders in that room,” Cassidy said. “These guys need to take charge of the situation.”
With Bergeron and Marchand unavailable, Jack Studnicka was recalled from Providence for his first NHL action since Dec. 16, while Trent Frederic rejoined the B’s lineup for his first game since Jan. 10.
Studnicka, who started the night on a line with Frederic and Foligno but got some late-game action with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, finished with one shot and one hit along with wins in nine of his 17 faceoffs in 15:07 of time on ice. Studnicka’s best play came in the defensive end, too, as the 23-year-old pulled a puck off the Boston goal line with the B’s down a man.
As noted, the win gave Carolina a season series sweep over the Bruins. It’s their first season series sweep over Boston since 2011-12, and it came in dominant fashion this time around, as the Hurricanes outscored the B’s by a 16-1 mark.
Up next, the Bruins will head to Ottawa for head-to-head with the Senators.
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