EditorsNote: tweaks to 13th and 18th grafs
Every contest at TD Garden is more than a home game for Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
It’s a family reunion.
Grzelcyk, who grew up in Charlestown, Mass., and whose father and brother each work at the Bruins’ home arena, scored twice Sunday afternoon as Boston beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Grzelcyk’s mom was also in attendance Sunday for Mother’s Day.
“She’s someone I talk to every day and means the world to me,” Grzelcyk said in a postgame interview on NBC. “It’s a pretty special day for sure.”
After surrendering four unanswered goals in the third period of a 5-2 loss in Game 1, the Hurricanes came out with a physical game Sunday with several big hits in the opening minutes. That included Carolina’s Micheal Ferland nearly checking Grzelcyk into his own bench.
“That’s a game we don’t mind playing,” Grzelcyk said. “It kind of wakes us up a little bit.”
Jake DeBrusk, Connor Clifton, David Backes and Danton Heinen also scored for the Bruins, who carried over the momentum they gained in the third period on Thursday.
They scored twice in each period Sunday, building a 6-0 lead and running their streak to 10 unanswered goals in the series before Carolina’s Justin Williams scored at 11:17 of the third.
Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Hurricanes, stealing an outlet pass from Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask and putting the puck into an empty net at 17:32 of the third.
Rask made 21 saves, while Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 19 of 25 shots.
The Bruins won the first two games at home for the first time in three playoff series this postseason. They lost the opener to Toronto in the first round and dropped Game 2 against Columbus in the second round.
The Bruins showed off their depth and youth Sunday, as Grzelcyk, DeBrusk and Heinen are all in their second full NHL seasons, and Clifton is a rookie.
Grzelcyk opened the scoring at 15:22 of the first, taking a pass from Marcus Johansson and sneaking a shot under Mrazek’s right arm that trickled just over the goal line.
DeBrusk made it 2-0 at 18:32 of the period with a power-play goal. DeBrusk was stationed at the top of the crease and got three swipes at the puck before putting it into the net.
“The first one was no good, (Mrazek) knows that,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “There was nothing going on for either team, which is what we want to start the game there, then that (goal) is a tough one.
“A penalty leads to a second one and then we get away from what we’re trying to do. We have zero success that way.”
Brind’Amour was asked in a postgame news conference whether he considered pulling Mrazek.
“A lot of other guys deserved to come out if that’s how we do it,” he said. “We’re not letting anybody off the hook.”
Clifton scored his first career NHL goal at 3:46 of the second, taking a pass from Johansson and burying it into a nearly empty net.
Grzelcyk scored a power-play goal at 17:56 of the second to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead.
Boston continued to pile on in the third, with Backes and Heinen both scoring in the opening 4:32 of the period.
Charlie Coyle and Torey Krug each had three assists for the Bruins.
The Bruins were 2 for 2 on the power play while the Hurricanes were 0 for 4.
Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday night at Carolina. The Hurricanes are 5-0 at home this postseason, outscoring opponents 22-7.
“The playoffs are a chess match. You make adjustments,” Boston forward Brad Marchand told reporters. “They’ll do that for the next game and we’ll do the same.”
—Field Level Media