Carolina it is. The Bruins continued to struggle to finish their chances, continued to make costly mistakes defensively and fell to the Capitals, 2-1, Sunday afternoon to cap off an 0-3 round-robin tournament and lock them into the No. 4 seed.
They will now meet the sixth-seeded Hurricanes in the first round of playoffs, which is expected to begin Tuesday or Wednesday. The Canes are coming off a three-game sweep of the Rangers in the play-in round, a series in which they outscored New York 11-4 despite not having two of their top three defensemen in Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce.
The Capitals also started creating more chances on the power play, with six of their 13 shots on goal in the second period coming on a pair of man advantages, including one they got as a result of Jake DeBrusk offensive zone penalty, which is never what you want to see. Tuukka Rask stood tall, though, and the Bruins were fortunate to see a couple Alex Ovechkin one-time blasts go wide.
The dagger came 2:49 into the third. Jeremy Lauzon made a poor decision to pinch down at the offensive blue line with McAvoy already pinched down on the other side of the ice. He couldn't keep the puck in and the mistake sprung Tom Wilson in the other direction. Neither McAvoy nor Joakim Nordstrom could chase Wilson down and he finished off the chance by firing a shot over Rask's glove.
But obviously you have to be concerned about the continuing inability to finish chances. Generally over a longer period of time, those chances eventually start going in. But the Bruins don't have a long period of time. They have a couple days before the real playoffs start, and if they don't start burying their chances it could be a short postseason for them.
"Clearly generated more offense tonight than we have in other games, more consistently," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. "Didn't finish well, but around the net a lot five-on-five. Power play is still a work in progress. Krejci's line I thought looked comfortable together, scored a goal obviously, but played well, had their legs, made some plays.
"Obviously the two goals we gave up, again, correctable. One we had on our stick and got a little surprised there. The other one, I don't know, Tuukka came out and played it, only he can decided that. But at the end of the day, we're just a little late on the pinch, so certainly some things we can correct. ... I thought we were much better on both sides of the puck, but again, didn't win."