The Eastern Conference final between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes continues at PNC Arena in Carolina on Thursday. Boston has dominated this series and will be going for the sweep. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 pm ET.
The Bruins took the last game in the series, 2-1. Carolina had an early flurry with plenty of good opportunities and, while they made Game 3 closer than the first two, the end result was the same. They now trail the series 3-0.
Opening Odds for Game 4
The Bruins opened as a -116 road favorite as it appears the writing is on the wall for the Hurricanes. They’re a home dog, opening at +105. The total is at 5.5 for Game 3. The first two games went way over before Game 3 stayed under.
Bruins vs Hurricanes Statistical Comparison
|49-24-9 (20-15-6 road)||Reg. Season Record||46-29-7 (22-16-3 away)|
|11-5 (5-2 away)||Playoff Record||10-6 (5-1 home)|
|3.13 (11th)||Goals Per Game (Reg. Season)||3.12 (12th)|
|3.31 (2nd)||Goals Per Game (Playoffs)||2.79 (7th)|
|2.59 (T 3rd)||Goals Against Per Game (Reg. Season)||2.70 (T 7th)|
|2.06 (1st)||Goals Against Per Game (Playoffs)||2.71 (7th)|
|52.89 (5th)||Fenwick % (Reg. Season)||54.93 (1st)|
|50.51 (8th)||Fenwick % (Playoffs)||53.19 (1st)|
|91.23 (7th)||Save % (Reg. Season)||90.57 (14th)|
|93.70 (1st)||Save % (Playoffs)||90.30 (12th)|
|51.14 (14th)||High-Danger Chances % (Reg. Season)||54.70 (4th)|
|53.34 (6th)||High-Danger Chances % (Playoffs)||47.06 (13th)|
*Note: regular-season rankings are out of 31 teams; playoff rankings are out of only 16 teams.
Series Takeaways and Analysis
This series has been decidedly one-sided at both ends of the ice. That’s mostly to do with the goaltending as the Hurricanes have struggled to keep pucks out of their own net and they’ve had a really tough time finding their way through Tuukka Rask at the other end of the ice.
The Hurricanes made a switch from Petr Mrazek to Curtis McElhinney in Game 3 but it didn’t have an impact on the outcome of the game. Mrazek has really struggled against the Bruins in his career and that continued in this series. He allowed 10 goals through two games. McElhinney is a journeyman backup, though, and he wasn’t much better.
He did stop 29 of 31 shots but the Hurricanes played better around him than they did Mrazek in the first two contests. That likely has to do with the fact that they were at home where they had been a perfect 5-0 in the playoffs more so than anything else.
So what changes for Game 4? Some people like the ‘pride’ argument, suggesting that the Hurricanes don’t want to get swept. That’s flawed, though, as it implies they weren’t playing for pride in Games 1, 2 and 3. Boston is a veteran team that’s eager for a rest and they can see the finish line. Don’t expect them to let up in this contest.
The other issue for the Canes is getting pucks past Rask. They had great chances in Game 3, putting 36 shots on net, but Rask was even better as he held them to a single goal. He’s given up just five goals in this series, posting a .944 save percentage. If the Hurricanes had someone to match him – or come close – this might have been a closer series.
Streaks and Betting Trends
The Bruins are 52-46 on the puckline this season. They continue to dominate in this matchup, winning nine of the last 12 meetings. The Hurricanes are now 46-50 on the puckline this season. If there is one piece of good news it’s that they’re 10-2 in a home game where where the total is 5.5 this season.