With a five-goal, third-period lead and the Bruins still not done scoring, the crowd in the new Boston Garden began a throaty chant of “We want the Cup.”
The next time they see their team, the Stanley Cup might be on the line for real.
Matt Grzelcyk on Sunday scored twice — his first career multi-goal game — and Tuukka Rask made 21 saves to lead the Bruins to a 6-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and give Boston a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final series.
Connor Clifton had his first career NHL goal — the 19th Bruins player to score this post-season, tying a franchise record.
Jake DeBrusk, David Backes and Danton Heinen also connected, while Torey Krug and Charlie Coyle had three assists apiece.
“It does feel contagious,” said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy, whose team won their fifth straight game and need two more victories to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in nine seasons. “Everybody’s contributing.”
The series moves to Carolina for Games 3 today and Game 4 on Thursday.
The Hurricanes need to win at least one to force a fifth game back in Boston on Saturday.
“Sometimes you’ve got to eat a poop sandwich. It doesn’t taste good and you have to chew on it for a little bit,” Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said. “We’ll have to do it for a couple days and get the taste out of our mouth next game.”
The Bruins won 5-2 in Game 1, but the Hurricanes led early in the third period and it was still 3-2 with 4 minutes to play. This one was never close.
Petr Mrazek stopped just 19 shots and Boston led 6-0 before Williams and Teuvo Teravainen scored in the final nine minutes to deprive Rask of a seventh career post-season shutout.
“The other night wasn’t as bad. We were right in the game,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour, whose team also fell behind 0-2 against the Washington Capitals in the first round before eliminating the defending champions in seven. “They’re playing their game; we haven’t gotten to ours.”
Nearly a half century after Bobby Orr soared through the air on Mother’s Day to finish off the 1970 Stanley Cup Final, the Hall of Famer was in the building as a pre-game hype man known as the banner captain.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation and the team responded as well.
Grzelcyk and DeBrusk scored late in the first period, before Clifton made it 3-0 early in the second.
With two minutes left in the middle period and Boston back on the power play, Heinen took a long pass out of the Boston zone from Marcus Johansson and drew two defenders with him before sliding it into the slot.
Grzelcyk slipped the puck over to his backhand and beat Mrazek to make it 4-0.
“That was the cooker,” Brind’Amour said. “We needed an answer and we didn’t have one.”
Backes scored 1 minute, 10 seconds into the third period, leaving Mrazek looking over to the bench to see if he would be replaced.
Brind’Amour said Mrazek had earned the right to stay in if that is what he wanted to do.
“We talked about it, but he doesn’t want to come out. He’s a battler,” Brind’Amour said.
Heinen finished on a feed from Patrice Bergeron to give Boston a six-goal lead with 15 minutes left, before Williams got Carolina on the scoreboard.
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