Carolina and Boston upped the intensity in Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Wednesday. And it resulted in both sides suffering a crucial defeat as Hurricanes goalkeeper Antti Raanta and Bruins defender Hampus Lindholm left the game with injuries.
However, it was Carolina who prevailed on the scoreboard by defeating the Bruins 5-2 and taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. Boston takes home the series after beating 10-3 in their first two games.
The heavy beating began early Wednesday and lasted until the final whistle.
Carolina saw Raanta go down midway through the first period after colliding with Bruins forward David Pastrnak. The bloodied Raanta left immediately and would not return with a torso injury; Pastrnak was given a two-minute penalty for interference by the goalkeeper.
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amor didn’t have an update on Raanta after the win, but said the netminder wasn’t on the concussion log.
Whether he thinks Pastrnak deliberately targeted Raanta, Brind’Amor asked, “What do you think? It can’t get any more obvious than that.”
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy saw the incident differently.
“We’re on the power play and he’s trying to chase a puck,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak. “His foot got caught in his pad. He tries to block the gap and get out of the way.”
In the second frame, Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov flattened Lindholm with a punch that shook the blueliner. Lindholm tried unsuccessfully to get up on his own before goalkeeper Linus Ullmark and team coaches helped him off the ice. He was out of there with a lower body injury.
Svechnikov wasn’t penalized for that goal, but Brandon Carlo stepped in to defend his teammate and both Carlo and Svechnikov earned rough minors for the ensuing scrum.
“[Lindholm’s] He’s not well,” Cassidy said. “He has an upper body injury. Hit was certainly on time but looked high. [The referees] didn’t see it that way.”
Cassidy added he wasn’t sure if Lindholm had been taken to the hospital or if he would be traveling back to Boston with the team on Wednesday.
“I feel bad,” Svechnikov said of Lindholm’s injury. “That was a hard blow.”
Meanwhile, later in the second half, Brad Marchand smashed into Hurricanes rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov, the third stringer replacing Raanta (Carolina is already without Frederik Andersen, who is recovering from a lower body injury). Kochetkov took offense at Marchand’s punch and returned one to the Bruins’ agitator, resulting in slash calls being compensated on both sides.
The 22-year-old Kochetkov became the youngest goaltender to ever make his postseason debut in Carolina’s franchise history. He had played just 149 NHL minutes in three appearances for Carolina before being called up in Game 2, but compiled a 3-0-0 record with 2.42 GAA and 0.902 SV% in those games.
He finished Wednesday’s game with 30 saves from 32 shots.
Game 3 between the two teams will take place at TD Garden on Friday.