BOSTON (AP) – Matt Grzelcyk scored twice – his first career multigoal game – and Tuukka Rask made 21 saves Sunday to lead the Bruins to a 6-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Connor Clifton had his first career NHL goal, Jake DeBrusk, David Backes and Danton Heinen also connected, and Torey Krug and Charlie Coyle had three assists apiece. The Bruins have won five straight games and need two more wins to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in nine seasons.
Petr Mrazek stopped just 19 shots. Justin Williams and Teuvo Teravainen scored after Carolina fell behind 6-0 in the third period and deprived Rask of a seventh career postseason shutout.
The series moves to Carolina for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The Hurricanes need to win at least one to force a fifth game back in Boston on Saturday night.
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 wasn’t ever close.
Nearly a half century after Bobby Orr soared through the air on Mother’s Day to finish off the 1970 Stanley Cup, the Hall of Famer was in the building as a pregame 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, and Clifton made it 3-0 early in the second. With two minutes left in the middle period and Boston back on the power play, Danton 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. Backes scored 1:10 into the third period, leaving Mrazek looking over to the bench to see if he would be replaced. 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.
Notes: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made a hype video for the Hurricanes. ... Brad Marchand appeared in his 99th career playoff game. ... 19 different players have scored for the Bruins this postseason, tying a franchise record. ... Carolina’s Sebastian Aho was held without a goal for the first time in four games, leaving Bates Battaglia (2002) and Ray Sheppard (1999) the only players to score in four straight for the franchise. ... Krug is the fifth Bruins defenseman with three or more assists in multiple playoff games. Orr and Ray Bourque did it five times apiece.
Game 3 is Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.