One day after having their game postponed by a five-overtime Lightning-Blue Jackets marathon, the Bruins and Hurricanes did their part to mess up the NHL bubble schedule even more, battling into double overtime in Game 1 of their first-round series.
That second overtime didn't last long, though. Just 1:13 into the period, Brad Marchand led the first line on a rush into the offensive zone and fed David Pastrnak cutting down the middle. Pastrnak then made a nice dish over to Patrice Bergeron, who fired a shot past Petr Mrazek's blocker to give the Bruins a 1-0 series lead.
Charlie Coyle gave the Bruins a power play late in the first overtime when Brady Skjei dragged him down on a zone entry, but the Bruins couldn't capitalize, continuing an ongoing theme since they arrived in the bubble. They finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and are now 0-for-13 since the season resumed.
With questions abound about how the Bruins would come out after their 0-3 round-robin performance, not to mention a postponement and unique start time, the answer for most of the first period was: Pretty well. The Bruins controlled play for much of the period and outshot the Hurricanes 9-4 in the frame.
But then they suffered one of the costly defensive breakdowns that plagued them throughout the round-robin and Carolina took a 1-0 lead. Warren Foegele entered the Bruins zone one-on-three as the rest of his line changed off, but the three Bruins -- Coyle, Nick Ritchie and Anders Bjork -- surrounded Foegele without actually attacking him, giving him far too much time and space and allowing his new linemates to join the play.
From there it was just one Bruin being too late to pick up their man after another. Matt Grzelcyk was late to Sebastian Aho as he entered the zone and took a pass from Foegele. Bjork was late to Teuvo Teravainen as Aho slid the puck over to him. Then Ritchie wasn’t even close to goal-scorer Joel Edmundson, who walked into the zone as the trailer and blasted a one-timer that beat Tuukka Rask block-side.
That was the lowlight of the Bruins’ ongoing power-play struggles, as they mustered just three shots on goal on their first three man advantages and continued to struggle mightily to even enter the zone and get set up, much less create quality scoring chances.
The Bruins’ problems with finishing their chances also reared their ugly head again. Jake DeBrusk put a beautiful pass from David Krejci -- one of several Krejci made in the game -- off the post, then missed an open net a few minutes later. Krejci also set up Charlie McAvoy for a great chance that Mrazek saved, and Grzelcyk had a double doink off the crossbar and post.
Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday night at 8 p.m.