Carolina and Boston ratcheted up the intensity in Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Wednesday. And it led to both sides suffering a key loss as Hurricanes’ goalie Antti Raanta and Bruins’ defender Hampus Lindholm left the game with injuries.
It was Carolina that prevailed on the scoreboard though, beating the Bruins 5-2 and taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Boston takes the series home having been outscored 10-3 through the first two outings.
The heavy hitting started early Wednesday and carried on to the final whistle.
Carolina saw Raanta go down midway through the first period after a collision with Bruins’ forward David Pastrnak. The bloodied Raanta immediately exited and would not return with an upper-body injury; Pastrnak was assessed a two-minute penalty for goalie interference.
Hurricanes’ coach Rod Brind’Amor had no update on Raanta after the win but did say the netminder wasn’t in concussion protocol.
As for whether he thought Pastrnak deliberately targeted Raanta, Brind’Amor said, “What do you think? It can’t get more obvious.”
Bruins’ coach Bruce Cassidy had a different take on the incident.
“We’re on the power play, and he’s trying to chase down a puck,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak. “His foot caught his pad. He’s trying to block the clear and get out of the way.”
In the second frame, Hurricanes’ forward Andrei Svechnikov flattened Lindholm along the boards with a blow that left the blueliner shaken. Lindholm tried unsuccessfully to get up on his own before being helped off the ice by goaltender Linus Ullmark and team trainers; he was out from there with a lower-body injury.
Svechnikov wasn’t penalized for that hit, but Brandon Carlo stepped in to defend his teammate and both Carlo and Svechnikov earned roughing minors for the ensuing scrum.
“[Lindholm’s] not doing well,” Cassidy said. “He has an upper-body injury. Hit was on time, certainly, but looked high. [The referees] didn’t see it that way.”
Cassidy added he wasn’t sure whether Lindholm had been transported to hospital or whether he would be traveling back to Boston with the team on Wednesday.
“I feel bad,” Svechnikov said of injuring Lindholm. “That was a hard hit.”
Meanwhile, later in the second period, Brad Marchand took a swipe at Hurricanes’ rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov, the third stringer replacing Raanta (Carolina is already without Frederik Andersen, who is rehabbing a lower-body injury). Kochetkov took exception to Marchand’s smack and gave the Bruins’ agitator one back that led to offsetting slashing calls handed out to each side.
The 22-year-old Kochetkov was the youngest goalie to ever make his postseason debut in Carolina’s franchise history. He had played only 149 NHL minutes through three appearances for Carolina prior to being called upon in Game 2 but did produce a 3-0-0 record in those showings, with a 2.42 GAA and .902 SV%.
He finished Wednesday’s game making 30 saves on 32 shots.
Game 3 between the two teams is Friday at TD Garden.