Bruins vs. Hurricanes takeaways: Carolina cashes in on B's mistakes to win Game 1

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Bruins takeaways: Hurricanes jump on B's mistakes in 5-1 win in Game 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Hurricanes' dominance of the Bruins in the regular season spilled into the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday night when Carolina beat Boston 5-1 in Game 1 of its first-round series at PNC Arena.

These teams were even for the first 35 minutes of the game before the Hurricanes scored twice in a 130-second span late in the second period. The Bruins never recovered, and it didn't help that their power play struggles from April showed up again.

Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark allowed four goals in his first career playoff start. He didn't play horribly, but the Hurricanes' fourth goal, scored by Vincent Trocheck, was a pretty bad one for Boston's netminder to give up.

The B's are now 0-4-0 versus Carolina this season. They'll try to turn the tide and steal home ice advantage Wednesday night in Game 2.

But first, here are three takeaways from Bruins-Hurricanes Game 1.

1) Lack of finish

The Bruins had plenty of good scoring chances in this game, they just couldn't finish.

One of their best opportunities came early in the first period when 'Canes defenseman Brendan Smith got just enough of his stuck on the puck to push it off the goal line and prevent B's right winger Jake DeBrusk from scoring.

Taylor Hall finally got the Bruins on the board early in the third period with a shot from the blue line that somehow found its way to the back of the net.

Boston generated 29 scoring chances (24 at 5-on-5) and 15 high-danger chances (11 at 5-on-5). The B's also held a 36-25 edge in shots on net (30-19 at 5-on-5). They drove puck possession at a decent enough rate and created a good amount of chances, but that final effort was absent.

The Bruins have now played four games versus the Hurricanes in 2021-22, including the three-game regular season series. They've scored only two goals in those 240 minutes of action, and only one (Hall's tally) has come at 5-on-5.

The Hurricanes are a great defensive team. They ranked No. 1 in shot attempts against, No. 4 in scoring chances against and No. 2 in goals against at 5-on-5 in the regular season. It's not going to be easy for the Bruins to score in this series, which is why power play improvement is so important for them (more on that below).

2) Bad pinch ruins Boston's momentum

Hall scored at 2:53 of the third period, and for the next five minutes, Boston had all the momentum as it pushed hard for a potential tying goal. Hall nearly evened the score himself after hitting the post on his next shot attempt.

All of this momentum came to a screeching halt when a bad defensive mistake from Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk sprung a 2-on-1 scoring chance for the Hurricanes.

Grzelcyk made a bad pinch along the boards despite having no support behind him. The Hurricanes won possession of the puck and quickly went up ice toward Boston's net. Vincent Trocheck made a perfect pass to Teuvo Teravainen, who beat Linus Ullmark with a perfect of shot.

These are the types of mistakes that absolutely ruin games in the playoffs. You cannot give a fast, highly skilled team like the Hurricanes Grade A scoring chances as the result of dumb mistakes in the attacking zone.

3) Bruins power play still struggling

The Bruins power play had an awful 0-for-39 slump in April that was ended in the penultimate game of the regular season against the Buffalo Sabres.

Those issues with the man advantage re-surfaced in Game 1. The B's went 0-for-3 on the power play and tallied just six shots and five scoring chances.

The Bruins went on the power play with 10 minutes left in the third period -- a great opportunity to get back in the game and/or build some much-needed momentum. Instead, the Bruins had another dreadful power play during which they tallied zero shot attempts. Boston never even came close to getting a shot on goal during that two minutes. It was a deflating moment for the B's and pretty much sealed their fate.

The Hurricanes, who had the No. 1 ranked penalty kill in the regular season at 88 percent, did a tremendous job preventing the Bruins from executing clean offensive zone entries. They also won the majority of the 50-50 puck battles and broke up several B's pass attempts. At times it seemed like Carolina had five skaters on its penalty kill.

Given how awesome the Hurricanes defend at 5-on-5, it's extra imperative that the Bruins cash in on some of these power play opportunities.